Monday, March 14, 2005

What's an Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy?

What do you think about the recent announcement that President Bush has had Secretary of State Condi Rice (to) nominate Karen Hughes to the subject position?

I personally do not believe it is a cabinet level position. She should remain in her advisory position to the President (as Dr. Rice had done before being appointed as Secretary of State). There appears to be a definite crossover in those positions. However, Karen Hughes's duties, as publicly related, actually place her in a separate niche all her own instead of as acting under the authority of the Secretary of State.

It is a nice gesture, but what exactly is an "Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy?" Since when have Ambassadors taken a cabinet level position at the President's table? That is one of the reasons I don't think Congress should confirm her as such. Her demeanor is too soft and "cute" for the job that has to be done, especially in the Middle East. She can continue in her public relations and communications position without having to step into a made up position out of gratitude for her help.

I believe this new move will be a grave distraction. It will give the news media a field day for creating a made up "war" between the two "women.*" I have already heard one Congressman (Repub.) talk about the Secretary of State in terms of having worn "a very nice dress" at a recent official White House event. Do they ever talk about the "nice suits" men wear in their official positions? Anybody know what I mean?
*I put parentheses around the word, "women," to highlight the attitude of the press towards the role each will have to play on the world stage. I am also mindful that the press already has a problem recognizing Dr. Rice as an official who is more than qualified to direct the way America is perceived around the globe. After all, she has had the President's ear for many years and that has held him in great stead with other world leaders at home and abroad.