Bush, Rice Tack Progressive

Funny that two high-level members of the Bush administration should "come out" on international progressive issues on the same day. Do I smell a whiff of low public-approval ratings giving the president and his secretary of state permission to reverse their former hard-line stances?

The president himself called yesterday for a summit of the world's foremost polluting nations (the United States included) as pressure builds on him to do something meaningful to combat climate change. Earlier in his administration, George W. Bush stood by idly doing nothing, as scientific report after scientific report confirmed the existence of global warming. This ultimately isolated him on yet another front from most of the rest of the western world.

Meanwhile in Vienna, Austria, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cohosted a meeting of the Women's Empowerment Network Steering Group, a committee she helped form at the United Nations last fall. She and 19 other female diplomats from around the world demanded more female participation as peace negotiators. The group issued a statement saying, "The fact that there is currently no woman among 54 United Nations envoys to conflict and post-conflict regions is unacceptable."

Rice coming out as a woman? Advocating for women's advancement? Please, pass the smelling salts. Oh, what a difference the end of an administration makes.

By Bonnie Erbe