For example, on the edges of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, which took place Sept. 5 and 6, 2013, Washington continued to push for international support of military action as it had been doing ineffectively since late August. In one meeting, Rice pressed the German delegation relentlessly for leadership within the European Union. The Germans sought more time and consultation with other EU member states, frustrating Rice to the point that she lost her cool and reportedly launched into a profanity-filled lecture that featured a rare diplomatic appearance of the word “motherfucker.” Germany’s national security advisor, Christoph Heusgen, was so angered that he told an American confidante it was the worst meeting of his professional life.
(Rice’s bluntness and hot temper have undercut her effectiveness throughout her career. In July 2014, the New Republic reported that she once confronted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas outside the Oval Office, saying, “You Palestinians can never see the fucking big picture.” A U.N. ambassador of one of the world’s major powers told me that he didn’t “understand what she thinks she is achieving by talking to us like a longshoreman.” The brusqueness hasn’t helped with her interpersonal relationships within the administration or with her staff, either. It is a particularly frustrating Achilles’ heel for someone who is well known among her friends as having the capacity to be very warm, humorous, and engaging.)
That last sentence is a cute touch from former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf writing at Foreign Policy isn’t it?
European diplomats loathed the straight-talking Reagan and Bush and were terrified of the thought of Vice President Palin. They longed for someone who could speak in a more nuanced, Belgium-approved tone. Enjoy, EU!
(Via Mark Hemingway.)