After an intense campaign period, President George W. Bush’s Cabinet is undergoing tremendous changes before his second term. Six of 15 Cabinet members have resigned, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is likely to be succeeded by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
“The public expected Condoleezza Rice to succeed Powell,” said USF political science professor Susan MacManus, “because she already has such a high profile and she is so knowledgeable about U.S. foreign policy.”
Rice’s appointment will make her only the second woman to hold the highest diplomatic position in the country after Madeline Albright. She will be the first black woman to hold the prominent position.
“I think it’s good that we have a minority in such a high position,” said Uta Harriate, Black Student Union president. “Personally, I think she will do a great job; women in power can handle certain situations differently.”
Rice’s experience in foreign policy is expected to put her in a much-needed position with U.S. allies. Rice’s ideology can be described as more hard-line than Powell’s moderate approach. Her tactics concern some.
“I’m a little worried that Dr. Rice will change for a more unilateral approach to international relations, without much regard for other nation’s interests,” said Thomas Watson, a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society.
Others are worried that Rice may not have enough significant experience to handle such an important position.
“I don’t know about her experience in dealing with other nations, but if she was nominated, then she must have been nominated for a reason,” said Crystel Dawson, Black Student Union vice president. “She must possess the qualities necessary to do a good job.”
Rice is the second White House loyalist to be appointed into a Cabinet position since Bush’s re-election. Bush describes Rice as a face of “strength, grace and decency” for the U.S. abroad.
Rice, Soviet Union expert, worked at the National Security Council for former President George H. W. Bush and later was the provost of California’s Stanford University.
MacManus said she believes that opponents of the Bush administration will see the sweeping changes in the Cabinet as proof that there is disenchantment with him in his own administration. MacManus added that supporters would see the changes as the beginning of major progress, which was promised before Bush’s re-election.
“Right after an election is the perfect time to make changes,” MacManus said. “This is not uncommon, it’s more than the norm that people resign after serving four years with the president.”