Rice returns to White House for private meeting with Obama

Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, has played Brahms before the Queen of England. On Tuesday night, she played Mozart before the Queen of Soul.
By Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 15, 2010; 5:51 PM

Partisan tensions are running high, but one top Bush adviser was welcomed at the White House on Friday: Condoleezza Rice.

Rice, the former secretary of state and George W. Bush's first national security adviser, held a private meeting with Obama at 3:45 p.m. A White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said the meeting - their first in the Oval Office - came about because Rice happened to be in town, on a book tour with a memoir about her parents.

Vietor said the two discussed "a range of national security issues." Rice also gave Obama and the first lady a personalized copy of her book, "Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family," as well as a copy of the book's young adult version for Sasha and Malia.

Rice has been careful not to criticize the officials who are now doing her former jobs. Asked by cable-TV host Jon Stewart what she would be doing differently if she were in office, Rice declined to second-guess.

"I am not going to chirp at the people inside," Rice said during Wednesday's appearance on Stewart's "Daily Show." "I know that it's a lot easier out here than it is in there, and these are patriotic people who are trying to do their best every day. They don't need me chirping at them. I think that things are not easy. This is a really tough time for the United States, a tough time for our world, but people are doing their best."

Not every former Bush adviser is so charitable, most notably Karl Rove, who is at the center of an ongoing fight with the Obama White House over midterm campaign funding.

Rice had to cancel an appearance at Politics & Prose to meet with Obama, but plans to sign the store's entire stock of her book, a spokesman said.

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