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2005-01-25—Lieberman-Coleman on Rice

Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders
Lieberman, Coleman announce
support for Condoleezza Rice
,  Jan. 25, 2005

U.S. Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn) and. Norm Coleman (R-Minn) have announced "their  support for Condoleezza Rice to be the nation's next Secretary of State—in contrast to two other Jewish senators who have come out in opposition: Democrats Barbara Boxer and Carl Levin.

Coleman issued a statement through his office on Tuesday, Jan. 25, saying: "There are many words that can describe Dr. Rice and her steadfast character: 'knowledgeable, grounded, experienced'. But there is one word that describes her better than any other, and that is 'qualified.' It is a high moment for the president to appoint her, an honor for the Senate to confirm her, and I believe it will be a blessing for the nation and the world for her to serve."

In a floor speech Tuesday, Lieberman said: 

"I have always believed that our responsibility to advise and consent does not mean that we have to agree with every opinion or every action that the nominee has ever taken, but that that nominee deserves the benefit of the doubt and that our responsibility is to determine whether the nominee is fit for the position for which the President has nominated him or her and whether the nominee, in our judgment, will serve in the national interest. And I conclude that Dr. Condoleezza Rice meets that standard, at least, and much more.

"Secondly, this element of the context in which this nomination is put before us: we are at war. It is a war unlike any we have ever fought before. And here I speak of the world war with Islamic terrorism. It is joined on battlefield in places like Iraq, of course, but it is being fought in the shadows and corners against an enemy that is driven by a fanaticism and acts without regard to human life – others’ or their own.

"I embrace the best tradition of American foreign policy that always has said that partisanship should end at the nation’s shores. And note that it doesn’t say policy differences should end. It doesn’t say ideological differences should end. It says partisanship should end at the nation’s shores, particularly so when our nation is engaged in a war – a global war on terrorism, a war in Iraq in which Americans have already lost their lives in the cause of freedom and in protection of our security."

Earlier in the day, Levin issued a news release announcing opposition to Rice    Boxer had voted against his confirmation in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (See previous story).
 —Donald H. Harrison