Anne Gearan, AP diplomatic writer, has a piece on Rice’s rising stock:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has become the most popular member of the Bush administration and a potential candidate to succeed her boss in the White House, even as Americans lose confidence in the president she serves and patience with the Iraq war she helped launch.
Entering her second year as the country’s senior diplomat and foreign policy spokeswoman, Rice has improbably shed much of her image as the hawkish “warrior princess” at President Bush’s side. The nickname was reportedly bestowed by her staff at the White House National Security Council, where Rice was an intimate member of Bush’s first-term war council.
Rice resolutely defends the post-Sept. 11 war on terrorism and the expansive executive powers that Bush claims came with it. She has lately sounded more optimistic than Bush about the progress of the Iraq war and the future for that country.
I’m not sure Americans have lost as much confidence in the Irag Waras Gearan says, but it is startling to see someone from the AP saying anything postive at all about a member of the administration.