Powelled?

POWELLED?…Laura Rozen reviews Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as Secretary of State in our current issue and finds the record mixed. Right now, Iran is the major issue facing Rice, and the big question is whether she can avoid Colin Powell’s fate:

The difficulty Rice faces is that every successful effort to pressure Iran through firm but peaceful means has the potential to be hijacked by those seeking grounds for military confrontation — just as Powell’s efforts once were. Will Rice’s gamble on diplomacy work, despite the formidable odds, or will she get Powelled? That is precisely the question that lingers in the minds of some within the State Department. “People are very conscious of Iraq,” one official involved with Iran policy told me, on condition of anonymity. “And they realize there are people who would love to see this be a runaway train.”

So who’s really in charge? Rice? Or Dick Cheney and Elliot Abrams? There’s no firm answer, but Laura runs down the players and the box score so far. Come back this time next year to find out who won.