Kurt Campbell, director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, credits Rice's heavy travel schedule, an approach to diplomacy that is more pragmatic than other Bush advisers, and a measure of personal pluck.
"She appears to have sort of skated away" from controversies over U.S. intelligence failures and aggressive U.S. tactics in the hunt for terrorists, Campbell said, and from the perception that the United States is "slogging" along in Iraq.
"She appears at once to be close to the president but separate and detached from some of the foibles of the administration, and that's a very hard thing to pull off," he said.
December 26, 2005
WaPo's Anne Gearan reads the political landscape and sees that Condoleezza Rice is awfully popular: