I simply can't let Condoleezza Rice, the enigmatic figure who has been –and will likely continue to be– the primary focus of this blog, wave goodbye without a proper send-off. Consider this: however you may feel about what aspect of Condi's tenure at the State Department upon which I chose to focus, what many would consider to be the unimportant things (the shoes, the hairdos, the fabulous fashions), I feel that I have covered those things more extensively –and intensively– than any other web site.
I started this blog one month after Condi was named Secretary of State, February 25, 2005, the very same day Robin Givhan published her Condiverse-shattering essay on La Rice's long black coat and sexy boots (above). But in retrospect, Givhan's fawning praise wrote a check Condi ended up not cashing:
Rice boldly eschewed the typical fare chosen by powerful American women on the world stage. She was not wearing a bland suit with a loose-fitting skirt and short boxy jacket with a pair of sensible pumps. She did not cloak her power in photogenic hues, a feminine brooch and a non-threatening aesthetic.
Ironically, what Givhan praises Condi for not doing is an exact description of what we ended up getting for the next four years. But anyway! In 2005, Condi was freshly-scrubbed, liked to wear red, and had an adorable flip hairdo. Here are the highlights from year one:
- 01-26: Senate confirms Condi!
- 02-25: Robin Givhan writes about Condi's domilicious boots.
- 02-25: Princess Sparkle Pony debuts.
- 03-13: Bob Schieffer can hardly keep his composure, asks Condi about the boots.
- 03-30: Queen Latifah on Condi: "Can we really lay a hot-comb to that head?"
- 04-06: I realize that Condi's hairdo requires constant vigilance.
- 04-12: PSP documents "matching armchairs" phenomenon for the first time.
- 04-25: Associated Press Condigraphic mostly helpful only to PSP.
- 04-26: "Condi got to grimace at a tattooed breakdancer's crotch!"
- 05-04: PSP notes first instance of wire photographers getting bored with Condi.
- 05-12: Condi doll looks more like Mike Tyson in drag.
- 05-20: Major hairdo upheaval.
- 05-23: Last public appearance of The Flip.
- 05-31: PSP suggests hairdo alternatives:
(Image by Pony Pal™ Uncle Splatty)
- 06-06: "Mainstream" media finally notices Condi's new hairdo.
- 06-15: Meeting with Angelina Jolie inspires Condi to show some ass.
- 06-28: First recorded denials of Condi's presidential aspirations.
- 06-28: Condi 'n' Kofi: they finally kiss.
- 07-07: We see Condi's ugly handwriting for the first time.
- 07-11: Condi upstaged by tropical flower arrangement in Thailand.
- 07-13: First noted instance of Condi's face on a protest sign.
- 07-19: Existence of americansforrice.com "Team Condi" trucker hat confirmed.
- 07-25: PSP first notes the "signing a meaningless document" photo-op type.
- 07-28: PSP first notes the "Madison Time" photo-op type. In the same post, Reuters' Yuri Gripas first identified as superior Condirazzi.
- 07-31: Condoleezza Hairdo Alert System™ introduced to a thankful world.
- 08-08: Photoshoppers provide reference examples of "Severe" Condoleezza Hairdo Alerts.
- 08-11: PSP realizes that by concentrating so much attention on Condi's hairdo, he's neglecting her totally cute outfits.
- 08-14: PSP reaches out to the rest of the Condiverse, is spurned.
- 08-23: First Condi shoe speculation on PSP is chillingly prophetic: Ferragamo, maybe?
- 08-24: The labor-saving, Animagic, Disneytronic Condibot is introduced.
- 08-28: Puffy Combs portrays Condi at the MTV music awards.
- 09-01: The famous Ferragamo incident: Gawker reports Condi's shoe shopping spree during Hurricane Katrina.
- 09-11: Condi wears the most gigantic flag pin ever.
- 09-14: Bush writes a note to Condi during the World Summit asking her if he can go tinkle.
- 09-27: By this time, wire photographers find a dramatic set of drapes to be more interesting than Condi.
- 10-06: Condi's Klingon ancestry noted for the first time.
- 10-11: PSP favorite photo-op ever: Condi has a terrifying encounter with a falcon-wielding Smurf (see above).
- 10-22: Condi's love affair with Jack Straw hits its zenith at a football game in Alabama.
- 10-25: She meets with three prime ministers in one day.
- 10-26: USA Today turns Condi into a Hell Demoness via an overenthusiastic use of Photoshop's sharpening filter.
- 11-02: PSP notes with relief the lack of Condi panty peekaboo shots despite all the matching armchair photo-ops. This is to her credit, because, as we'll see, the Condirazzi will later make this a top priority, a mission which they will ultimately fail. This is Condi's sole victory.
- 11-08: Condi's over reliance on the "holding the invisible sphere" hand gesture first noted.
- 11-12: Condi equated with Maryanne on Gilligan's Island.
- 11-30: USA Today's Barbara Slavin scores the silliest ever interview with Condi about her fab fashions: I cannot confirm or deny. [ Laughter .]
(Image by Pony Pal z7q2)
- 12-02: Superiority of Reuters Condirazzi Yuri Gripas reaffirmed.
- 12-03: Condi wears her later-infamous Red Dress of Grievances.
- 12-07: AP publishes chilling montage of Condi's hands while Reuters settles for a terrifying angel of death.
- 12-09: Condimania hits an all-time high when she is so mobbed on her trip to Europe that photographers must shoot through each others' tripods to get a glimpse of her.
- 12-19: Condi achieves total spiritual enlightenment at the Heritage Foundation.
- 12-19: I finally put the pieces together and realize that Condi's "holding the invisible sphere" hand gesture is actually a small, spherical, invisible friend she likes to cuddle in times of stress:
Quite a year for Condi! 2005 started with her being rewarded for her dismal performance as national security advisor by being promoted to secretary of state, and ended with America's Princess Diplomat at maximum over-exposure and fake credibility. This was truly Condi's honeymoon year. Accomplishments? Are you serious?
Stay tuned for 2006 (the best Condiyear), 2007, and 2008/9!
O, Princess - what wildly mixed feelings this retrospective brings - wild cackles of evil laughter, subtle snorts of snark, outright shrieks of derision, and most of all - all those glorious memories...
But at least we know you'll carry on. I have a feeling that the future will hold a fair share of material suitable for your sharp eye and sharper tongue.
This retrospective is a joy.
I am thankful that you are not a one-trick Pony, but I do wonder if your mission statement at the beginning of your blog will have to be rewritten.
Whose 'do will you keep track of next?
I am going to miss that "Condi Roundup" graphic so much. I always thought they should have included it on State's web site over her itinerary.
Thanks, but fear not, John, because I love that logo and I'm sure I'll use it many, many times in the future.
I wonder if you are familiar with the song by musician Steve Earle titled "O, Condi, Condi". It makes a wonderful background track for reading your consistently entertaining and informative blog.
I wonder if you have heard the song "O, Condi, Condi" by musician Steve Earle. Thank you for the consistently entertaining and informative blog
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