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Rice the partisan player

Condoleezza Rice appears to have a reputation for relative high-mindedness, especially when compared to her colleagues in the Bush administration. But before she addresses the Republican National Convention tonight, I'd remind the political world that Rice is a far more aggressive partisan than is generally appreciated.

It went largely overlooked at the time, but in 2004, Rice was the first National Security Advisor in memory to hit the campaign trail, giving Republican stump speeches in battleground states, despite serving in an office that's supposed to be nonpartisan (especially during two wars). More recently, Rice "electrified" Republicans with a "surprisingly partisan"speech at an exclusive Romney fundraiser. BuzzFeed reported, "One surrogate said he was surprised by the red meat rhetoric employed by Rice."

But while Rice is ostensibly hoping to give Romney some credibility on foreign policy -- one of his more dramatic weaknesses -- she hasn't quite honed her talking points yet, as was evident on CBS this morning.

What I found most interesting about this is that Rice seemed to have no idea what to say about President Obama's foreign policy record. The best she could come up with was some vague attack on the president's policy in Syria, which more or less echoed the same things Obama himself has said.

It's also worth noting that Rice was a strong supporter of the New START treaty -- a policy Romney condemned (but failed miserably to understand). So what is it about Romney's vision that Rice likes? She hasn't said, but it appears to have something to do with the "R" after his name.

As for why Rice still feels comfortable claiming credibility on international affairs after the spectacular failures of the Bush/Cheney administration in the areas of foreign policy, national security, and diplomacy, your guess is as good as mine.