Author: Rice Makes a Legacy of Foreign Policy

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Condoleezza Rice on Capitol Hill

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice takes questions from Congress about the state of Iraq, Oct. 25, 2007. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been the butt of many a foreign policy joke. Rice has been criticized for being too weak, too strong and too tightly bound by the Bush administration.

But in recent months, Rice appears to have moved away from her earlier reputation as a diplomatic puppet for the White House and instead has taken charge of shaping a foreign policy that could become her legacy, says biographer Marcus Mabry, author of Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power.

As political observers wondered why her presence in Washington had diminished in recent months, Mabry says, Rice shuttled back and forth to the Middle East on diplomacy missions.

Her efforts paid off Tuesday at the Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, which closed with Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreeing to reopen significant negotiations. Mabry calls that result a feather in her cap.

Mabry reports that Rice considered leaving the administration at the end of President Bush's first term, but decided to remain and focus on stabilizing the Middle East.

"Condoleezza Rice convinced this president to take that chance, to bring these players together, and she will spend the rest of this presidency trying to be the person who actually will be the mediator between Israelis and Palestinians," he says. "She will be the one calling the shots."



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