Team Kerry is upset that Condoleezza Rice has been making a significant number of speeches that just so happen to all be taking place in swing states.
John Edwards voiced the concern: “For all its fearmongering on the war on terror, this White House has a greater commitment to its political security than to our national security. The fact is that the violence in Iraq is spiraling out of control, Osama bin Laden remains at large and North Korea and Iran have increased their nuclear capabilities. With all this going on, Condi Rice shouldn’t take the time to go on a campaign trip for George Bush.”
Carter national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski chimes in: “I’m afraid that represents, at least in my book, excessive politicization of an office which is unusually sensitive.”
Forget what the Bush team says about all of this. These are political speeches given at a political moment in politically charged regions of the country. Can you blame them for this tactic? I guess. But in this environment, it’s not that much of a surprise.
What’s a bit surprising here is that the Bush campaign is putting Rice out front at all. You’ll notice that we’ve seen little of Rice and almost none of Ashcroft and Rummy as the campaign has tightened. If I were advising Kerry/Edwards, I’m not that sure I’d be all that worrried about a Condoleezza Rice roadshow at this point.