You don’t speak Russian…
J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma congressman who once was part of the Republican House leadership, said he is thinking of voting for Obama. Watts said he is still a Republican, but he criticizes his party for neglecting the black community. Black Republicans, he said, have to concede that while they might not agree with Democrats on issues, at least that party reaches out to them.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for president on Sunday, criticizing his own Republican Party for what he called its narrow focus on irrelevant personal attacks over a serious approach to challenges he called unprecedented.
A child of the segregated deep South who became the highest-ranking African-American woman ever in American government and was once considered a potential Republican presidential nominee, Rice called the Democratic president-elect “inspirational” and said his victory was proof of America’s promise.
“This was an exercise in American democracy of which Americans across the political spectrum are justifiably proud,” she said.
“As an African-American, I’m especially proud,” said Rice, her eyes glistening with emotion, “because this is a country that’s been through a long journey, in terms of overcoming wounds and making race” less of a factor in life. “That work is not done, but yesterday was obviously an extraordinary step forward.”
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered reassurances on Wednesday to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and to listeners of a popular Moscow radio station that the United States would not supplant Russia’s influence in its neighborhood despite growing American friendship with other countries in the region.
Ms. Rice bantered occasionally with Mr. Venediktov in Russian, which she has studied, but she apologized for speaking largely in English, saying she felt too intimidated by Russian grammar to feel comfortable speaking Russian for the whole interview.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried out her rusty Russian in a Moscow radio interview Wednesday, only to get caught out by a question on whether she might run for president.
“Da (Yes),” Rice answered in Russian, before realizing her misunderstanding and hastily adding “Nyet” (No) — seven times.
“It’s too complicated to answer!” Rice, in Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin, started out in English. “It is an opportunity for me to come back to Russia, a place I love very much. I love the culture and the language.”She then switched into Russian, but quickly hit trouble.
Apparently meaning to say that she would like to do her next interview in the language of her host, she chose a verb that sounded more like “to earn money” than the Russian for “to do.”
How did Condy get appointed as Secretary of State and labelled a Russian expert? Could it be that she told President Bush that she was an expert in rushin’ around and he made her his “Rushin’ expert”?
Asked whether she would run for President at the next election on Ekho Moskvy Radio programme, Condoleezza Rice answered Da! Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Not bad for someone who is quoted frequently by the Western press as being a fluent Russian speaker and a Russian expert, although she has never lived in the country.
Before admitting to this schoolgirl’s question that is was difficult to speak Russian, she had already made a fool of herself on Tuesday, when she declared that the Kremlin’s grip on the media is “very worrying.” The question is, what grip?
For the information of Condoleezza Rice, who despite being Secretary of State of her country, continues to demonstrate an ignorance of world affairs at a shockingly consistent level, the notion that the Kremlin exerts a grip on the media is a fairy tale invented in the gardens of Washington. As correspondent of the English version of Pravda.Ru, director and chief editor of the Portuguese version and collaborator for three other Russian publications, two of these being official media organs, I have frequently asked for guidelines from the Kremlin on what line to follow.
The answer: “We are afraid we cannot give you any guidelines as you request. You will have to write the truth, after checking your sources, obviously”, or words to this effect every time the question is posed.
Capt. Bart Mancuso: What’s so funny?
Jack Ryan: Ah, the Captain seems to think you’re some kind of… cowboy.
Captain Ramius: [in Russian] You speak Russian.
Jack Ryan: [in Russian] A little. It is wise to study the ways of ones adversary. Don’t you think?
Captain Ramius: [in English] It is.