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Transcript: Bush Nominates Rice Secretary of State

The United States has undertaken a great calling of history to aid the forces of reform and freedom in the broader Middle East so that that region can grow in hope instead of growing in anger.

We're pursuing a positive new direction to resolve the Arab- Israeli conflict, an approach that honors the peaceful aspirations of the Palestinian people through a democratic state and an approach that will ensure the security of our good friend Israel.


Meeting all of these objectives will require wise and skillful leadership at the Department of State, and Condoleezza Rice is the right person for that challenge.

BUSH: She is a recognized expert in international affairs, a distinguished teacher and academic leader, and a public servant with years of White House experience.

She displays a commitment to excellence in every aspect of her life, from shaping our strategy in the war on terror to coordinating national security policy across the government to performing classical music on stage.

Above all, Dr. Rice has a deep, abiding belief in the value and power of liberty because she has seen freedom denied and freedom reborn.

As a girl in the segregated South, Dr. Rice saw the promise of America violated by racial discrimination and by the violence that comes from hate. But she was taught by her mother, Angelina, and her father, the Reverend John Rice, that human dignity is the gift of God and that the ideals of America would overcome oppression.

That early wisdom has guided her through life and that truth has guided our nation to a better day. I know that the Reverend and Mrs. Rice would be filled with pride to see the daughter they raised in Birmingham, Alabama, chosen for the office first held by Thomas Jefferson. Something tells me, however, they would not be surprised.

BUSH: As many of you know, Condi's true ambition is beyond my power to grant.

(LAUGHTER)

She would really like to be the commissioner of the National Football League.

I'm glad she's put those plans on hold once again. The nation needs her.

I urge the Senate to properly confirm Condoleezza Rice as America's 66th secretary of state.

Congratulations.


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