Bush has nominated Condoleezza Rice to be the new secretary
of state and named Stephen Hadley, Rice's deputy at the
National Security Council, to be the new national security
Bush announced these changes in his foreign
policy team at a November 16 appearance at the White House
with Rice, national security advisor throughout the president's
first term. Rice's nomination is subject to confirmation
by the Senate, a hurdle she did not face as national security
advisor, which does not require Senate advice and consent.
The secretary of state is "America's
face to the world," Bush said, adding Rice will show
the "strength, grace, and decency of our country."
Rice "has a deep and abiding belief in the power of
liberty," Bush said. As a child growing up in the segregated
South, she "saw the promise of freedom violated by
racial discrimination and by the violence that comes from
hate," he said. Rice's parents, however, taught her
that America would overcome oppression, and "that early
wisdom has guided her through life."
If confirmed, Rice would take office at
a critical time, Bush said. "We are a nation at war,"
he declared. The United States is leading a large coalition
against a determined enemy while working to establish new
structures and institutions to confront outlaw regimes,
oppose proliferation of dangerous weapons and materials,
and break up terror networks, he said. The United States
has also "taken on a great calling of history"
to aid reform and freedom in the broader Middle East and
to pursue "a positive new direction" to resolve
the Arab-Israeli conflict, Bush said. Meeting all these
objectives "will require wise and skillful leadership
at the Department of State, and Condi Rice is the right
person for that challenge."
Rice said she looked forward to her confirmation
by the Senate and to advancing Bush's "hopeful and
ambitious agenda" as secretary of state. Both Bush
and Rice praised Colin Powell, who announced his resignation
on November 15. "Colin Powell was a great and an inspirational
secretary of state," Rice said. "It was my honor
to serve alongside him."
Cabinet members -- heads of the 15 departments
within the executive branch of U.S. government -- are appointed
by the president and must be confirmed by a majority vote
of the Senate. Cabinet members are appointed for the duration
of an administration, but may resign, or be dismissed by
the president, at any time.
Following is the text of the remarks of
President Bush and Secretary of State-nominee Condoleezza
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
November 16, 2004
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF
STATE NOMINEE DR. CONDOLEEZZA RICE
The Roosevelt Room
12:33 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. I'm pleased
to announce my nomination of Dr. Condoleezza Rice to be
America's Secretary of State. Condi Rice is already known
to all Americans, and to much of the world.
During the last four years I've relied on
her counsel, benefited from her great experience and appreciated
her sound and steady judgment. And now I'm honored that
she has agreed to serve in my Cabinet. The Secretary of
State is America's face to the world. And in Dr. Rice, the
world will see the strength, the grace and the decency of
Both Condi and I have been proud to serve
with our friend, Secretary of State Colin Powell. He has
been one of the most effective and admired diplomats in
America's history. Secretary Powell has helped to rally
the world in a global war, has helped to resolve dangerous
regional conflicts; he's helped to confront the desperate
challenges of hunger, poverty and disease. He has been tireless
and selfless and principled, and our entire nation is grateful
for his lifetime of service.
I'm also grateful that Steve Hadley has
agreed to become my new National Security Advisor. Steve
served Presidents Nixon, Ford and Bush before me, and he
has done a superb job as Dr. Rice's deputy during these
past four years. Steve is a man of wisdom and good judgment.
He has earned my trust and I look forward to his continued
vital service on my national security team.
When confirmed by the Senate, Condoleezza
Rice will take office at a critical time for our country.
We're a nation at war; we're leading a large coalition against
a determined enemy; we're putting in place new structures
and institutions to confront outlaw regimes, to oppose proliferation
of dangerous weapons and materials, and to break up terror
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
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 Condi Rice is the right person for that challenge. She's
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. (Laughter.)
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 promptly confirm Condoleezza
Rice as America's 66th Secretary of State.
DR. RICE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
It has been an honor and a privilege to work for you these
past four years, in times of crisis, decision and opportunity
for our nation. Under your leadership, America is fighting
and winning the war on terror. You have marshaled great
coalitions that have liberated millions from tyranny, coalitions
that are now helping the Iraqi and Afghan people build democracies
in the heart of the Muslim world. And you have worked to
widen the circle of prosperity and progress in every corner
of the world.
I look forward, with the consent of the
Senate, to pursuing your hopeful and ambitious agenda as
Secretary of State. Mr. President, it is an honor to be
asked to serve your administration and my country once again.
And it is humbling to imagine succeeding
my dear friend and mentor, Colin Powell. He is one of the
finest public servants our nation has ever produced. Colin
Powell has been a great and inspirational Secretary of State.
It was my honor to serve alongside him, and he will be missed.
It will, of course, be hard to leave the
White House, and especially to leave behind the terrific
NSC staff who have served their President and their country
so ably in this most challenging of times. Yet, I can leave
confident in the knowledge that they will be led by the
consummate professional, a man I know and admire, my colleague
and friend, Steve Hadley.
Finally, let me say that in my 25 years
of experience in foreign affairs, both in and out of government,
I have come to know the men and women of the Department
of State. I have the utmost admiration and respect for their
skill, their professionalism and their dedication. If I
am confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with
the great people of the Foreign Service and the Civil Service.
And one of my highest priorities as Secretary will be to
ensure that they have all the tools necessary to carry American
diplomacy forward in the 21st century.
Mr. President, thank you again for this
great opportunity, and for your continued confidence in
THE PRESIDENT: Good job. Thank you all.
END 12:40 P.M. EST