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Condoleezza Rice on Principles & Values

Secretary of State


We overcame the birth defect of slavery; we can overcome now

[Today's] challenge is real and the times are hard. But America has met and overcome hard challenges before. Whenever you find yourself a doubting us, just think about all those times that America made impossible seemed inevitable in retrospect. Our revolutionary founding act as the greatest military power of the time, a civil war, brother against brother, hundreds of thousands dead on both sides, but we emerged a more perfect union. A second founding when inpatient patriots were determined to overcome the birth defect of slavery and the scourge of segregation. A long struggle against communism with the soviets even--the Soviet Union's collapse and in the aftermath of 9/11, the willingness to take hard, hard decisions that toward us and prevented the follow on attack that everybody thought preordained.
Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 29, 2012

American greatness from values of our forefathers

On the AmericansElect.org reform question, Dr. Rice chose 'A' from the list below, with a relative weighting of 4%:
Source: AmericansElect email questionnaire with Condi Rice's staff , Feb 13, 2012

1991: Considered for Senate; but no interest in running

1991: Considered for Senate; but no interest in running In 1991, US Senator Pete Wilson had become governor of California. Thus he needed to appoint someone to serve out the remainder of his Senate term, and he considered Condi for the job at the prompting of President Bush. But Condi didn't have the 1991: Considered for Senate; but no interest in running She immediately declined his offer, telling Wilson that she was not interested in running for office. President Bush would not be the last to see political potential in Condi.

While in California, Condi was approached to run for governor on two

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by L. Montgomery, p.131&149 , Mar 7, 2007

OpEd: Faith & heritage tied in personal passion for God

Condoleezza's impenetrable strength, mysterious balance, and unshakable temperament are all evidence of three defining characteristics--a faith that runs deep in her heritage, a personal passion for God that runs thick through her veins, and moral convictions that are by-products of both.

To know and appreciate the faith of Condoleezza Rice, no matter what your religious preference, you must learn about hers. To understand her passion for peace, you must become personally familiar with the chaotic state of the nation in which she was born. To fully grasp her heart and what has motivated her to exceed the limited expectations that enslaved both her race and her gender for hundreds of generations before her, you must examine her roots. To taste the inspiration for democracy that flows like a river from her heart, you must learn what it is that feeds her soul.

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by L. Montgomery, p. 15-16 , Mar 7, 2007

Not a day of my life have I doubted the existence of God

Condi was spiritually confronted by a Time magazine cover that asked, "Is God Dead?" The article became a fiercely debated issue in American theology. Scholarly religious journals were overflowing with rebuttals.

The article served to confirm Condi's faith, not weaken it. "I can honestly say, without exaggeration, that not a single day of my life have I doubted the existence of God. For me, that was never a question, especially in my home." For the budding teen it was never considered an option.

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by Leslie Montgomery , Mar 7, 2007

Grieving is a privilege; optimistic in face of suffering

For Condi, the loss of her mother meant the loss of the person whose advice she valued most in the world, her best friend, her confidant. Looking back on those days of bereavement, Condi says, she can now see that her time of grieving was a privilege for her in many ways, and she encourages others to be optimistic in the midst of suffering.

"It is in times like these that we are reminded of a paradox, that it is a privilege to struggle. American slaves sang, 'Nobody knows the trouble I've seen--Glory Hallelujah!' Growing up, I would often wonder at the seeming contradiction contained in this line. But I came to learn that there is no contradiction at all. I believe this same message is found in the Bible in Romans 5, where we are told to 'rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character.' For me, there is the lesson that only through struggle do we realize the depths of our resilience and understand that the hardest of blows can be survived."

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by L. Montgomery, p.118-119 , Mar 7, 2007

Only through struggle so we realize depth of our resilience

Condi says she learned some important lessons in regard to mourning her loss. "I learned 3 important truths while grieving the loss of my parents," Condi says. "First, I feel impressed to say that it is a privilege to struggle. Only through struggle do we realize the depth of our resilience and understand that the hardest of blows can be survived. Through struggle we learn to let go of fear and strive for freedom. Only in struggle do we attain the knowledge that, like a house of cards, the human spirit is fragile and human strength fleeting. If there are no burdens, how can we know that he will be there to lift them? It is easy to thank God when all is going well. It is much harder to trust him in times of trial."
Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by L. Montgomery, p.160-161 , Mar 7, 2007

Considers herself an evangelical "contagious Christian"

The most difficult part [of public life is about] profession and proselytizing or being a contagious Christian and what does that mean. While it is safe in many ways to practice your personal faith, while I might say to a group of believers, 'Well, I just believe' and that'll be accepted it's much harder to say that to people who don't believe.

"I was really struck by the comment of a friend who read an article about me [which] said that I was an evangelical Christian. This very good friend of mine said, 'That was a great article, but you're not an evangelical Christian.' And I thought, 'Yeah, but I am.' But I started wondering what was it about me that those words somehow in her mind didn't fit who I was. She knows I'm a Christian. Now, I think part of it may be that we as evangelicals are increasingly speaking in ways that simply turns people off. And when they meet one of us that they like, they can't possible believe that we're actually evangelical. "

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by L. Montgomery, p.202 , Mar 7, 2007

Legislating morality is browbeating about faith

I worry a lot about the government and the church. I worry a lot about trying to legislative morality. A friend of mind said, 'You can't legislate love. You can't legislate values.' I worry a lot that what we have done is to sound judgmental and exclusive in the way that we talk to people about the role of our faith in what we do. Whatever the issue, this tendency to speak in such loud and judgmental tones has really hurt the message that we're trying to deliver. In fact, what's very interesting to me is that if you think about the way that Christ tried to meet those who did not believe, it was quite opposite. He didn't shout at them. He tried to meet them where they were. And he met every person in a different place with a different way of dealing with it. Shouting at people and judging them and browbeating them can't be the right way to open up the possibilities of faith to them."
Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by L. Montgomery, p.202-203 , Mar 7, 2007

Only viable Republican who can beat Hillary

Hillary’s nomination would give the Democrats an undeniable advantage in the general election. The Republicans would have no choice but to respond by nominating a similarly compelling and popular candidate--one who could counteract the certain shift of women voters to Hillary. And who else could that be but Condi?

If Hillary is nominated, she is very, very likely to win, by maximizing her support among women and minorities--easily defeating any conventional white male candidate the Republicans might send against her. And there is only one viable Republican answer to Hillary’s candidacy: Condoleezza Rice. Were Condi & Hillary to face each other, it would be the next great American presidential race and one of the classic bouts in history. Hector vs. Achilles. Lee vs. Grant. Ali vs. Frasier. And now, Condi vs. Hillary.

Condi can beat Hillary because her candidacy would strike directly at the three pillars of the Democratic Party’s base: African Americans, Hispanics, and white women.

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 5 & 51 , Oct 11, 2005

Doing layoffs at Stanford: “I don’t do committees”

Stanford’s current president, John Hennessy, describes Rice’s moves as painfully necessary. “No one likes layoffs, especially universities, because there are so many interpersonal relationships,” he has said. Rice’s work on the budget “was enormous,” he adds. “We could have had problems lingering for ten years easily, if it wasn’t addressed in dramatic fashion.”

At the time, Rice’s moves were met with heated opposition--and made “more brutal,” according to the LA Times, “by the imperious way she carried them out.“

Challenged to consult with a faculty committee in deciding which cuts to make, Rice said, ”I don’t do committees.“ She told the financial Times in a 1995 interview, ”I am direct... sometimes someone has to draw a line between informing, consulting, and deciding.“

In retrospect, it is interesting to note how calm Rice was as she was remaking the university through these cuts. She left no hint of indecision or even pain as she went about evaluating the problem methodically.

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p.113 , Oct 11, 2005

Faith & prayer guide me on difficult matters

My faith isn’t something that I can set outside of anything that I do, because it’s so integral to who I am. Prayer is very important to me and a belief that if you ask for it, you will be guided. Now, that doesn’t mean that I think that God will tell me what to do on, you know, the Iran nuclear problem. But I do believe very strongly that if you are a prayerful and faithful person, that that is a help in guiding us, as imperfect beings, to have to deal with extremely difficult and consequential matters.
Source: Interview With Washington Times, on www.4condi.com, “Issues” , Mar 11, 2005

GOP principles: individuality, family, liberty, strength

Our Party’s principles made me a Republican. The first Republican I knew was my father. He joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did.

I joined for different reasons. I found a party that sees me as an individual, not as part of a group. I found a party that puts family first. I found a party that has love of liberty at its core. And I found a party that believes that peace begins with strength.

Source: Address to the Republican National Convention , Aug 1, 2000


Condoleezza Rice on Family of Origin

Two white great-grandfathers, one on each side of family

We came to this country as founding populations--Europeans and Africans. Our bloodlines have crossed and been intertwined by the ugly sexual exploitation that was very much a part of slavery. Even in the depths of segregation, blacks and whites lived very closely to each other.

We still have a lot of trouble with the truth of how tangled our family histories are. These legacies are painful and remind us of America's birth defect: slavery. I can remember being asked how I felt when I learned that I apparently had 2 white great-grandfathers, one on each side of the family. I just considered it a fact--no feelings were necessary. We all have white ancestors, and some whites have black ancestors.

Source: My Extraordinary Family, by Condi Rice, p. 11 , Jan 10, 2012

Father brought 1960s black radicals to dinner table

[In Denver in 1970], the parade of speakers my father assembled for his seminar was extraordinary by any measure. Academics and educators, artists and activists, politicians and athletes all came together to provide their perspective on the state of black America. There were also some civil rights leaders, such as Julian Bond, one of the founding members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. And many of the speakers were on the radical end of black politics, such as Louis Farrakhan. And, of course, Daddy invited his friend Stokely Carmichael to the podium several times.

My father was fascinated with the radical side of black politics. I was never taught that Farrakhan was a traitor or that the Black Panthers were terrorists. They were to be taken seriously on their merits. Years later, when so much attention was paid to then-Senator Obama's radical associations, I wondered what might have been made of the people who sat at our dinner table.

Source: My Extraordinary Family, by Condi Rice, p.134-135 , Jan 10, 2012

Played piano as child at church where father was pastor

My father and my grandfather helped organize the First Presbyterian Church of Golden, Colorado, so there was also Sunday school and summer church camp. The young minister they called to the pulpit told me many years later that he and my dad attended a local Presbyterian meeting where the little daughter of one of the pastors played the piano to entertain the group. She was Condoleezza Rice, whose father, John, was an associate pastor at Montview Presbyterian Church in Denver.
Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p. 5 , Mar 9, 2010

Descended from black slaves and white slave owners

On both sides of her family Condi is descended from white slave owners who preyed on immoral and illegal sexual "rights" with their black slaves. Although it was not unusual in that day and time for slave owners to rape or engage in sexual relations with their slave women, the frequent brutality of the act further enslaved, intimidated, and bred inferiority.

In Condi's black heritage, the slaves were mostly house slaves rather than field slaves, and while this gave her great- and great-great-grandparents proximity to privilege, including some education, it was under the iron clasp of oppression and slavery that they attained or used it.

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by Leslie Montgomery, p. 18 , Mar 7, 2007

Father, John, initiated church's community "Youth Night"

[Condi's father] John Rice became the church's pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church when his father passed away. Because black youth were banned from public restaurants, pools, and Kiddieland, the local amusement park, John created a youth ministry at Westminster as an outreach and implemented a Youth Night to get the children in the community involved with something healthy and keep them out of trouble.

"Rev," or "Daddy Rice" as the kids called him, made sure there were always fun and exciting things to do. He threw co-ed dances, Ping-Pong tournaments, field trips to various educational sites, board games, Bible studies, and afterschool sports activities. John's message to the kids he mentored and taught was the same he'd have for his own daughter when she was born. It came straight out of the Bible (Jeremiah 29:11-13): God has a plan for your life; a plan that is good and not for evil. It's a plan to give you a hope and a future.

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by Leslie Montgomery, p. 28-9 , Mar 7, 2007

Baptized by her father at Westminster Presbyterian Church

Like many babies born into a faith-based home and specifically in the Presbyterian denomination, Condi was dedicated and baptized by her father at an early age in the Westminster Presbyterian Church. The family continued to live in the back of the church until the congregation contracted to have a modest parsonage on the corner of Center Way South West and Ninth Terrace in Birmingham built when Condi was barely 2. The home was in a middle-class, predominantly black area of town just a few blocks from the church and would serve nicely for the years to come.
Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by Leslie Montgomery, p. 35-6 , Mar 7, 2007


Condoleezza Rice on Personal History

Named after musical term "con dolcezza" or "with sweetness"

My father had worked out a deal with my mother: if the baby was a girl, she would name her, but a boy would be named John.

Mother started thinking about names for her daughter. She wanted a name that would be unique and musical. Looking into Italian musical terms for inspiration, she at first settled on Andantino. But realizing that it translated as "moving slowly," she decided that she didn't like the implications of that name. Allegro was worse because it translated as "fast." Finally she found the musical term "con dolce" and "con dolcezza," meaning "with sweetness." Deciding that an English speaker would never recognize the hard c, saying "dolci" instead of "dolche," my mother doctored the term. She settled on Condoleezza.

Source: My Extraordinary Family, by Condi Rice, p. 1 , Jan 10, 2012

Grandmother gave Condi piano lessons starting at age 3

The activity that I enjoyed most was watching my grandmother teach piano. Grandmother Ray had about 20 students, ranging from beginners to quite advanced pianists, charging 25 cents a session. I'd ask to take some sheet music home so I could "practice." Each day I'd leave with music, usually forgetting to bring it back the next day. To preserve her music collection, Grandmother finally gave me a regular book to take home. "Grandmother, this isn't music!" I told her.

Grandmother Ray decided that it was unusual for a kid to know the difference and asked my mother if she could start giving me piano lessons. I was 3 years old, and they wondered if it might be too early but decided to give it a try. Unlike the early experiment with 1st grade, this worked. I loved the piano.

I'd play for hours. It was hard to get me to do anything else, including read books or watch television.

Source: My Extraordinary Family, by Condi Rice, p. 42-43 , Jan 10, 2012

1986: Suffered myomectomy surgery for uterine fibroids

My time in Washington was interrupted by a health crisis. A doctor told me that I had uterine fibroids--a nasty condition that can afflict as many as 80% of women. He recommended that I have a hysterectomy.

This was terrible news. In the back of my mind I had always assumed that I would get married and have kids. I wanted to find that special man because I had been inspired by the wonderful example my parents had provided through their marriage. I was not at all concerned that marriage might hold me back professionally. And frankly, I'd always hoped to marry within my race. If the right man does not come along, it is better to enjoy a fulfilling and happy life as a single person. But in 1986, at the age of 30, the prospect of not even having the OPTION to have kids was devastating.

I asked whether there were other approaches. He was having great success with myomectomy, which removed the fibroids and left the uterus intact. Several days later I had the surgery, which took more than 7 hours.

Source: My Extraordinary Family, by Condi Rice, p.229-231 , Jan 10, 2012

Tested with genius IQ and skipped first grade

Condi seemed to be a prodigy in just about every area from the beginning. She whizzed through kindergarten with no problems when she was barely 4.

When [her mother] Angelena enrolled Condi in 1st grade, 2 months shy of being 5, the principal of the school refused to allow her to attend, saying she wasn't old enough. Angelena took a year off from work and homeschooled Condoleezza. As a result, Condi was able to skip 1st grade, and when she did enroll in school she went directly into 2nd grade.

Angelena knew when Condi was very young that she was gifted intellectually. To support her belief and to see exactly where her daughter was in comparison to other children, she took her daughter to the Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for psychological testing. Condi was found to be a genius with an extraordinarily high IQ. Both parents knew they needed to build on the intellect that God had graciously given to their daughter.

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by L. Montgomery, p. 49-50 , Mar 7, 2007

First classical piano recital at age four

Condi was thrown into the performing arts arena at an early age. She began doing piano recitals and performances in public for the 1st time when she was 4 at a tea for new teachers in the Birmingham public school system. It went so well that Condi was asked time and time again to perform at various functions throughout town. In addition to the piano, she learned to play the flute and violin.

The child fell in love with classical music and aspired to be a classical pianist from as early as she remembers, studying Bach and Mozart religiously. When Condi was 5 years of age, her mother gave her a recording of the 4 act opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi.

For Condi, it successfully stimulated her desire to pursue a career in the performing arts, something she'd hold onto tightly for many years to come.

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by Leslie Montgomery, p. 53 , Mar 7, 2007

1967: Moved from Alabama to integrated middle-class Denver

John received an offer to be the assistant dean at the College of Arts and Sciences and assistant director of admissions at the University of Denver. He knew that taking Condi to a more metropolitan area would provide more diversity in extracurricular activities and opportunity for a better education. John was also worried about the bombings that were becoming more and more frequent in the South.

Eventually they would move into an integrated, middle-class area of Denver.

John and Angelena enrolled Condi in the prestigious St. Mary's Academy located in Englewood, a suburb of Denver. For the first time in Condoleezza's life, she would attend an integrated school--St. Mary's Academy was an independent, Catholic school founded in 1964--although she'd be only one of three blacks enrolled there.

Source: The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, by Leslie Montgomery, p. 83-4 , Mar 7, 2007

Presbyterian family history led to college and advancement

Granddaddy Rice was a poor farmer’s son in rural Alabama - but he recognized the importance of education. Around 1918, he decided it was time to get book learning, so he asked, in the language of the day, where a colored man could go to college. He was told about little Stillman College, a school about 50 miles away. So Granddaddy saved his cotton for tuition and went off to Tuscaloosa.

After the first year, he ran out of cotton and needed a way to pay for college. Praise be - God gave him one. Grandfather asked how the other boys were staying in school. “They have what’s called a scholarship,” he was told, “and if you wanted to be a Presbyterian minister, then you could have one, too.” Granddaddy Rice said, “That’s just what I had in mind.” And my family has been Presbyterian and college-educated ever since. This is not just my grandfather’s story - it is an American story.

Source: Address to the Republican National Convention , Aug 1, 2000

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Condoleezza Rice on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
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Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Page last updated: Jul 04, 2014