President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair hold a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House, Friday, Nov. 12, 2004, in Washington. Seated left to right are, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, British Ambassador Sir David Manning, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Why the old photo? Well, it's always fun to look back, especially when prompted by the wonderful news of just how much our English friends love Condi. Well, how much they used to love her, right around the time of the above photo, anyway:
LONDON (AFP) - Britain spent more than 9,500 dollars on a 50th birthday party for US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2004, the Foreign Office said Tuesday.
The party, hosted by the British ambassador to the United States David Manning at his official residence in Washington, saw Rice presented with a dress as a gift.
US President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, were among guests at the surprise party.
In a written reply to a Labour Party question in the House of Commons, Foreign Office junior minister Kim Howells, said: "There were 111 guests and the cost was 9,512.05 dollars (4,682.73 pounds)".
The reply came after an article in the September 6 issue of the centre-left political weekly New Statesman magazine criticised the party as a "ludicrously lavish extravaganza".
And believe it or not, the AFP article quoted above actually kinda makes it sound not quite as TOTALLY AWESOME as it actually was! Oh, it must have been like a dream! Here's the luscious report of the sensational fairy party from what is otherwise maybe the meanest article about our Condi EVER in the New Statesman:
How things change. It was less than three years ago that the British embassy here put on a ludicrously lavish extravaganza to mark the 50th birthday of the person whom they wrongly considered to be the most powerful woman in the world. "Dr" Condoleezza Rice, then George W Bush's disastrously inept national security adviser and now his equally feckless secretary of state, walked into the ambassador's residence and gasped when she was met by more than a hundred guests lining the curved Lutyens double staircase, applauding fervently and singing "Happy Birthday to You".
The British ambassador, Sir David Manning, had thought of everything with his team: much to the relief of the woman who had arrived in slacks and a suede jacket, thinking she was going out for dinner with her aunt, Manning and his staff had obtained her measurements beforehand and were able to whisk her away so that she could change into a scarlet ballgown, specially made for the occasion by her favourite designer, Oscar de la Renta. Her very own hairdresser, whom the embassy had also thoughtfully provided, snipped away. And the honoured guest finally joined the throng as Van Cliburn, considered (again wrongly) to be America's greatest pianist, hammered out the national anthem.
OMG, that writer is so mean, right? But even that cynical writer couldn't disguise what a superfantastic dream of an event that night was, and you know what, I'd say that party (and others like it) makes it TOTALLY worth it all! And you know what, just a few days after that party, Condi was named first black girl secretary of state! So OK, maybe she got some stuff wrong about Iraq and Afghanistan, but a great party like that every now and then is always going to be around the corner for Condi! Forever and ever! Hooray!