Press Box

Condoleezza Rice’s Image Makeover

Glenn Kessler’s new book captures madam secretary putting stagecraft into her statecraft.

When National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in January 2005, she had what Washington types call an “image problem.” That is, the public regarded her as a failed counselor, one of Bush’s neocon dittoheads, and—there is no other way to put it—a stone-cold heartless bitch.

Glenn Kessler’s new book, The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy, records (among other things) Rice’s transformation from policy mud hen to diplomatic swan. Kessler, a Washington Post diplomatic correspondent, traveled the globe with Rice, and witnessed firsthand the rebuilding of her public personality by her handlers at State. This slide show illustrates the efforts by Rice’s makeover artists to co-opt the press, and establishes why every news image the secretary generated during her tenure must be viewed through a skeptical lens.

Click here for the Condi Rice Image Makeover slide show.