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September 15, 2006

It’s The War, Cupid!

Rice-Mackay

Don’t worry.  I have no interest in Condi’s private life — and, more importantly, no desire to get lost in the distraction.  However, there are some interesting political dynamics that arise from this picture, and the romance rumors flying around regarding Rice and Canada’s Foreign Minister Peter MacKay.

The NYT fluff piece playing up the gossip referred to Ms. Rice’s press contingent as “bored.”  If that’s the case, in the midst of a (so called) war and heading into mid-term elections, it doesn’t speak well for the Administration.  Whether Ms. Rice is attracted or the press is distracted, the results are still the same:  The White House is having a terrible time trying to control the message.

Beyond every day message management, however, there is something much more deviant (for the White House) about this image.  Given Bush’s determination to present an ever vigilant, “we’re at war” disposition (an obvious role requirement among his political generals), this depiction of Rice is exceptionally out of character.

Now, if we were in the middle of WWII (meaning America was really at war), such a photo would be more understandable.  People fall in love during wars.  (Maybe more so, in fact.)  But because the Bush war is one of contrivance, this photo can’t help but have a dissonant (even “dissident”) effect.

If Condi really does have a thing for Mackay, it could be quite interesting to see the effect of even a small diet of mooning.  “War On Terror”-wise, the question that arises is: what kind of conviction can you wring out of political consumers when one of your main cheerleaders starts showing up without her war mask?  The impression is not only disconcerting, it plays into a whole different cultural meme — one drawing a thin trip wire across the path of the G.I. George show.

The Condi – Mackay rumors didn’t circulate for more than a day before the opposition “got it.”  Scanning the demonstrators at Rice’s latest appearance, a familiar mantra broke to the surface.  In a cupid-like reinterpretation of “Cut And Run,” the phrase “Condi: Make Love, Not War!” started to bloom on the protest signs.

(image: Paul Darrow/Reuters. Nova Scotia. September 12, 2006.  Via YahooNews)

  • mugatea

    MacKay ‘on’ Rice is how the photo reads to me. Good thing his name isn’t Kielbasa!
    What’s up with the place mat blazer on Condi-squeeza?
    The photos of these two sippin’ morning coffee from
    Tim Horton’s cups on the docks were also quite suggestive.
    When Bag previously said he hadn’t posted kittens ever before, my first response was “what about The “It” Girl?”
    rrRRoww.

  • marysz

    Could it be that the Administration wants to marginalize Rice and get her out of the way? Emphasizing Rice’s femininity might be away of trivializing her and pushing her off-stage so Cheney and his cronies can do their work undisturbed. As for Rice, she probably feels unwelcome in the White House right now. Rove and Bolton are jealously keeping Bush in his bubble. Rice’s main relationship with Bush was in Crawford; she would play the piano for George and Barbara at the ranch. But Bush’s advisors are keeping him away from Texas. It looks like Rice is getting the Karen Hughes’ treatment–the Rove push-off. I wonder how Harriet Meirs is faring these days.

  • rudy

    It’s a sickening picture, isn’t it: So much pleasure (in their faces) in the midst of so much pain (the war)? It’s difficult to see the face of love and human kindness and worse, human contact. Hey, a new twist on the word allies, right? For the US audience, that would be ALL – LIES.
    BAG ran a picture of the baby with the breast not so long ago, when he headed off to Espana – feeding time. Observers were right about the photo: what was an intrusion to the viewer was not the sexuality of the nipple, per se, but rather, the look of love and complete endearment found solely in the baby’s eyes. That truly human connection (in the eyes) was difficult for Westerners to swallow. (Hmm, not so sorry for the pun). At least, it’s difficult in this day and age of “constant” war and the intentions of savagery perpetrated on us and by US.
    It’s difficult to see the whimsical Condi, fresh-faced and all-aglow – adolescent. But, I wish this for you, in private.

  • Hannibal

    Aaron Magruder must be smiling.

  • rudy

    It’s a sickening picture, isn’t it: So much pleasure (in their faces) in the midst of so much pain (the war)? It’s difficult to see the face of love and human kindness and worse, human contact. Hey, a new twist on the word allies, right? For the US audience, that would be ALL – LIES.
    BAG ran a picture of the baby with the breast not so long ago, when he headed off to Espana – feeding time. Observers were right about the photo: what was an intrusion to the viewer was not the sexuality of the nipple, per se, but rather, the look of love and complete endearment found solely in the baby’s eyes. In a subconscious way this startles us. That truly human connection (in the eyes) was difficult for Westerners to swallow. (Hmm, not so sorry for the pun). At least, it’s difficult in this day and age of “constant” war and the intentions of savagery perpetrated on us and by US.
    It’s difficult to see the whimsical Condi, fresh-faced and all-aglow – adolescent. But, I wish this for you, in private.

  • ummabdulla

    Not a very flattering photo of Rice, with the pursed lips.
    I guess Jack Straw’s not happy, though. He lost his job as British Foreign Secretary and was replaced in Condi’s affections by an up-and-coming, single Canadian. Mackay better be careful, though; she was rumored to have been behind Jack Straw’s abrupt sacking (after she saw how many Muslim voters were in his constituency and was afraid that might hinder him from wholeheartedly supporting the War on Terrorism).
    She must be more charming in person than she comes across otherwise. Or maybe her powerful position is what’s attractive, like it was for Kissinger.
    But are these kinds of stories negative or positive for her? They sort of make her seem more human.

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    If Condi gets a new husband we should get a new president. That picture screams YES, I DO. ME TOO.
    Gotta wonder how this plays with the base, at least the part the that knows how to use ‘miscegenation’ in a sentence.

  • weisseharre

    eyebeam twi(s)t

  • section9

    Jesus, you people are fuckwits.
    This photo plays great with the Base, especially in the South, who love Condi. Condi is the most popular Republican politician among the Rank and File in Ronald Reagan’s party. Only the Moonbats hate her. That would be you idiots. The problem with you people is that you don’t know how to read polling so you think everyone thinks like you.
    Condi is the most trusted person that George Bush has. He will not let her leave. You can revel in the cartoon character George Bush that you people have created for yourselves, but the real deal needs Condi to execute diplomacy and to keep Republicans happy.
    Further, Bush is at 47% this morning in Rasmussen. That ain’t bad. Santorum is closing on Casey with two months to go. Talent leads in MO, Chaffee won his primary in RI, and the Moonbats took the Democratic Primary in Connecticut. Our generic polling is looking great for us and has turned in our direction in the past ten days. In other words, this statement:


    The NYT fluff piece playing up the gossip referred to Ms. Rice’s press contingent as “bored.” If that’s the case, in the midst of a (so called) war and heading into mid-term elections, it doesn’t speak well for the Administration. Whether Ms. Rice is attracted or the press is distracted, the results are still the same: The White House is having a terrible time trying to control the message

    …is yet another case of impeachment obsessed liberals living inside their message bubble.
    Someday you clowns will wake up and learn that Americans don’t trust you to protect their children from Islamic fascists who want to murder them. That will be after you lose this election. Maybe then you will go back to the drawing board. But I doubt it; it so much easier to call Bush Hitler and Rice a token.

  • lib4

    It has got to be some sort of set up for a CONDI 2008 Presidential Run….
    I mean an UNMARRIED WOMAN running for the Presidency….what better way to quash LESBIAN rumors than to make up some lame ass fake romance with a man…
    The thing is will bigot Repubs allow her to be involved in an interracial relationship……

  • http://www.dock.net/fuming_mucker/ Darryl Pearce

    …like so many things with this administration, the secrets are so deep we are only left with our speculations (for better or worse–even if they are exaggerations about the dangers in the world).
    Be that as it may, as Miracle Max observed: “Love is the greatest thing in the world–except for a nice MLT (mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich) where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes are fresh–smack, smack–it’s so perky! I love that!”

  • http://www.keirneuringer.blogspot.com Keir

    Besides the fact that it’s kind of a racy (2x) picture of a white man on a black woman, I could not care less about what’s behind it. I don’t care who Condi likes, sleeps with, marries, works for etc etc. Nothing will make me forgive her for being a lying sack of shit like the rest of the people she keeps company with, and were there anything resembling international law with jurisdiction over the US, it would be wonderful to see her tried and convicted as an accomplice to the many crimes committed by the Bush Administration.
    PS: I have never understood the rrrowr stuff; there’s not an attractive cell in this woman’s body.

  • jt from BC

    ummabdulla, as usual your bang on target with “her powerful position” assumption.
    Lisa Michelle Merrithew, a noted Canadian public relations consultant and political operative was a long time fiancee until Belinda Stronach heiress to Magna one of Canada’s largest Manufacturing Companies was temporarily attracted by Peter’s big smile before unceremoniously dumping him and the Conservative Party.
    The most exciting political event since Margaret Trudeau and her rock and roll and pot days.
    Peter MacKay Licks His Wounds http://www.ehmac.ca/showthread.php?t=27025
    “He’d find a potato patch near his dad’s place, borrow a neighbour’s dog and a pair of rubber boots and act like a sissy”
    If this pic is not about romance or power from” Potato Pete’s” perspective its definitely a meeting of political first cousins and Canadian bloggers will have a field day.
    “If the United States leads a multinational force into Iraq without United Nations backing, Canada should fight beside its neighbour. We’ve gone from being a middle power to a muddle power on this” -Peter MacKay.
    And with full disclosure *my favorite niece* in Nova Scotia works on his behalf and believes he can walk on water !!!

  • http://areyoudressed.blogspot.com momly

    Aw, she’s just tryin’ to make George jealous.
    Good luck with that.

  • Quentin

    Remember, once not so long ago Miss Rice actually had visions of Mushroom Clouds dancing in her head. If she issued a CD of her piano playing, we might finally get some insight into this opaque woman’s inner workings: warm/cold, bleak/bright, young/old, tense…tense, tense, tense.

  • margaret

    lib4 is on to the “real” story: coverup of the fact that Rice IS gay and has a long-term relationship with someone in Berkeley. But, her chance to run in 2008 will be greatly improved if she can serve as vice-president as a leg up. Cheny may be indicted, and this may be in anticipation of that.

  • Barnard Williams

    It wouldn’t surprise me if this “romance” thing was a plant just like everything else the Bushmach does. This is to make it look like the riff between Canada and the U.S. is being patched up and the two country’s are good buddies again. I hope I am wrong and that there really is something going on between these two. Maybe a little action will loosen up Condi’s goose stepping ways.

  • Stacia

    Would we even be caring about this if Condoleeza Rice was a man? Seriously, no one would be making up romance rumors about a single man in her position. No one would be asking about the effect of rumors or actual romance, and no one would be pondering whether “mooning” would affect a man’s job. Hell, the term “mooning” is reserved for teenage girls. Politically you may not like Rice but marginalizing her as a weak, teeny-bopper type of woman is repugnant.
    I find humoring this kind of gender-based faux reporting very distasteful.

  • MalibuPoet

    My, my, what better way to squelch the ‘rumor’ of that Condi/George affair than to pair her off with a hunky Canadian. Compliments of Zeroviankapervorks.
    Or could he be a ‘Hollywood bachelor’ – you know, the closet guys perpetually changing model girlfriends, maybe throwing around a few NRA decals, or (when all else fails) even ‘having a baby’ out of wedlock, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, dontchaknow.

  • Peanut

    ….Or getting caught with a hooker in Hollywood??

  • jt from BC

    Stacia > so sorry but little or big Peter is a Ladies Man with smiling lasses in Ottawa and Halifax as well. Songs now being written and sung in the pubs of Nova Scotia will definitely contain *mooning* in a chorus line inspired by this mutual cooing photo, sailors and his rugby buddies will be quick to add a rich ribald flavor, unfortunately I’m 3000 miles away.

  • Bob

    When is someone going to get down to business and PhotoShop a picture of this couple getting married at NeverLand Ranch?

  • jt from BC

    BigJohn > after your second post I’m tempted to inquire if you’ve had a recent physical or mental examination for fecal incontinence ?

  • Mad_nVT

    In spite of her notorious wardrobe failures, and the flagrant on-going failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Palestine/Israel/Lebanon; and so on. . . . . . .
    . . . . well, Secretary Rice has an approval rating of around 60%, with about 30% disapproval.
    So, it seems that Section9 makes a good point: Rice is indeed trusted, and so it must be that many of us who don’t respect Rice are out of touch with the real world.
    But, about that wardrobe and that hair: who’s making the choices?

  • readytoblowagasket

    Maybe MacKay got Rice a date with his sister and she’s just thanking him (’cause it went *really* well!!).
    section9 said: “Chaffee won his primary in RI”
    Lincoln Chafee won the primary thanks to Independents and Democrats, whom Chafee *himself* thanked publicly.
    Under Rhode Island’s hybrid primary system, Independents, called “unaffiliated” voters, can vote in either primary. 23,000 voters in RI changed their affiliation in the last 6 months, and “unaffiliated” voters comprise the largest bloc of voters in RI.
    http://www.projo.com/extra/election/content/projo_20060613_rivote13.128a3a59.html
    Chafee is by no means guaranteed his seat in November, and he trails Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. But even if Chafee wins reelection, he votes with the party 65 percent of the time, as opposed to Santorum, who votes with the party 95 percent of the time. Chafee voted *against* Bush’s tax cuts, *against* the Iraq War, *against* Samuel Alito, *against* Bush for president in 2004, and he is the lone Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee to block the John Bolton vote. Hell, since Chafee votes the right way 35 percent of the time, *I’d* vote for him.
    What are you, section9, a Democrat?

  • ummabdulla

    Stacia, I think that if this were a single male Secretary of State rumored to be romantically involved with the single female Foreign Secretary of Canada, it certainly would be getting attention, too. Maybe more than this. Peter MacKay’s getting attention about it in Canada, isn’t he? I remember hearing about Bob Kerrey’s girlfriends all the time, and he was just in the Congress.

  • jt from BC

    Quentin > we might finally get some insight into this opaque woman’s inner workings: < until that CD happens we do know that after War and Peace her favorite author is:
    Dostoevsky... created an opus of immense vitality and almost hypnotic power, characterized by the following traits: feverishly dramatized scenes (conclaves) where his characters are, frequently in scandalous and explosive atmosphere, passionately engaged in Socratic dialogues à la Russe; **the quest for God, the problem of Evil** and suffering of the innocents haunt the majority of his novels; characters fall into a few distinct categories: humble and self-effacing Christians (prince Myshkin, Sonya Marmeladova, Alyosha Karamazov), self-destructive nihilists (Svidrigailov, Smerdyakov, Stavrogin, the underground man), cynical debauchers (Fyodor Karamazov), rebellious intellectuals (Raskolnikov, Ivan Karamazov); also, **his characters are driven by ideas rather than by ordinary biological or social imperatives.** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyodor_Dostoevsky
    After her latest Lebanon comments I surmise her inner workings resemble those of Raskolnikov.

  • readytoblowagasket

    ummabdulla said: “But are these kinds of stories negative or positive for her? They sort of make her seem more human.”
    “More human” is exactly the response that’s wanted, in particular from women. Condi already has a large and loyal dominatrix-fetish male fan base, but that tightly wound, hard-bodied, ball-busting style doesn’t really appeal to (as many) women. However, this unlucky-in-love, Mary Tyler Moore working woman schtick does. (That’s totally MTM’s hair, an MTM goofball expression, MTM’s professional prude-but-sexy designer outfit.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mary_Tyler_Moore_Show#Overview
    http://tinyurl.com/rylz4
    But Condi is such a terrible actress, she can’t smile (or speak, if you read the article) convincingly. (Unlike Condi, Peter is a perfect actor. Wouldn’t trust him for a second.)
    I agreee with lib4: This whole fake romance facade has to do with her presidential run in 2008 and with building her female base, which will take some time to accomplish. But I don’t think there will be any controversy over her “dating” a white man, because the Republicans view *her* as white.
    The Times is a shameless neo-con suck-up sexist rag.

  • PTate in MN

    Rumors to date. It’s hard to keep up:
    1. Condi accidently referred to GWB as my husband. That one wasn’t a rumor, actually. That happened.
    2. Condi has a “special” relationship with GWB–we’ve analyzed some of the visuals of that on BagnewsNotes.
    3. Alternate hypothesis, Condi is gay.
    4. Laura has moved out of the WH into the Watergate hotel.
    5. Condi is feuding with Rumsfeld & Cheney
    6. The WH is grooming Condi for 2008
    7. The media portrays Condi as glum and glummer. We’ve analyzed that as well.
    8. Now…Condi & this Canadian charmer may have a thing.
    So what do I think? I think Condi is someone who responds to attractive powerful men. When attractive powerful men smile at her, she smiles back. I don’t think there is anything in this. Peter Mackay is very attractive: Women around the world are swooning for him. Condi Rice is responding with warmth to his warmth.
    The WH wants to build her up. They want us to recognize her as classy (she plays the piano, she dresses well), erudite (she was a professor), powerful (“she is flying to ___________ to protect America’s interests.”) They want to make her attractive/sexy/womanly in the same way that GWB is attractive/sexy/manly–implicit sexuality & romance arouses the base. They also do not want American’s speculating that Condi and GWB are playing around behind the scenes. And they definitely do not want Americans’ to look at Condi Rice’s performance as part and parcel of the most incompetent and partisan adminstration in US history. Not in a midterm election year.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    RE: “if we were… really at war…” (!)
    ENTRENCHMENT
    it is unclear to me, among others i’m sure ~ whether this latest AngloAmerican Occupation tactic of “trenches and check-points” = barricade of Baghdad, or entrenchment is an attempt to keep resistance forces and munitions OUT, or to contain hostile forces WITHIN the what, ~7 million population metro area, into which the AngloAmericans have now consolidated ~ to prevent militants from leaving this Area of Operations nucleus and attacking the now quite vulnerable and isolated AngloAmerican FOB = Forward Operating Bases…
    …scattered, as they are, all over the greater organism of IRAQ; The FOB’s primary purpose has been distilled down to: protecting AngloAmerican Lines of Supply; and, securing the precious Oil Fields, facilities and pipelines…
    …but, not unlike Afghanistan, one gets the uneasy feeling that AngloAmerican forces are under-manned, overwhelmed, and being besieged by an entirely hostile and lawless chaos that has them surrounded: I cannot help but get the impression that both AngloAmerican Occupation forces are now imploring their Western leaders to either RESCUE or REINFORCE them, toute suite.
    Equally unclear to me is why the American population in general, and their leaders in particular are so DEAF apparent to the suffocation and suffering of their own military personnel?
    is it ignorance, or… shame ?
    Perhaps this dilemma, this emotional dis-connect and lack of empathy for their own “professional” ARMY ~ as if They Were Expendable ~ will prove to be one of the most sanguine “Lessons Learned” by the post-modern, post-Vietnam era democracies of the U.K. and the U.S.A.

  • ummabdulla

    It is hard to figure out the purpose of that trench. (By the way, Muslims who hear about the trench will automatically be reminded of the famous Battle of the Trench in the 7th century, when all of the Muslims of Madinah joined in digging a trench to protect the city.) Inside Baghdad, people are killing each other in large numbers, so what’s the point of isolating Baghdad – unless, as you say, it’s to keep the people from attacking the occupying armies.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    I find humoring this kind of gender-based faux reporting very distasteful.
    Well put.

  • jt from BC

    MonsieurGonzo > somewhat long but a great article, thanks, jt
    What a great diversion this little love story but some in Halifax were not entertaining any future prospect of throwing rice.
    “Condi, We Don’t Want Your War Machine
    “You can’t plant war and expect to harvest peace.”
    “Condi go home!”
    “Condi, MacKay, shame on you! Arab lives have value, too
    “Practice piano not war,”
    “American Woman: We don’t need your war machine,” complete with a skull and bones with a haircut resembling Rice’s
    “Condi: Make Love, Not War!”
    (Condi’s Chevron stocks put her net worth well over $200 million shes not nearly as wealthy as two of Peters former girl friends but he would not let a paltry sum like this get in the way of true love, I’m sure.)

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