Monday, August 4, 2008

Obama, Rice Team Up on Foreign Policy?

Hat tip to Jeralyn Merritt at Talkleft for this:

If you had to guess which presidential candidate was consulting Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on foreign affairs would you pick the one from her party -- a party which has frequently suggested she be added to the ticket as the VP candidate -- or the candidate from the other party? The Aspen Daily News, citing a new Time Magazine article, says it's Obama who has been consulting Condi Rice on foreign affairs.
From the Time article:
A few days before he left on his eight-country world tour, Barack Obama wanted to discuss the trip with an old contact in Washington: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Obama's phone call was in part a courtesy, but over three years of occasional phone conversations, the two have quietly discussed everything from foreign aid to the Middle East and nuclear proliferation. Obama and Rice have come to have a certain respect for each other, says an Obama aide familiar with their conversations, because both take an intellectual, sober view of foreign affairs. "They've had good exchanges," the aide says. "Does he treat her as someone whom he has respect for? Absolutely. Does he listen to her on occasion? Absolutely."

The little-known Rice-Obama link is just the latest surprise in a summer of unexpected shifts in American foreign policy.
It may prove bittersweet to watch as a new President gets credit for policies she and Bush have promoted, but that is the price of embracing diplomacy so late in the game. At least, says the Obama aide, she can expect the phone calls to continue.