Sunday, June 12, 2005

Rice - A Woman to Vote for


I would vote for Condoleezza Rice in a heartbeat. This woman can only be described as a class act.

Here are some highlights from this article that need more press.

A musician long before she became an academic and then a world-famous diplomat, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took to the Kennedy Center concert stage Saturday to accompany a young soprano battling an often-fatal disease.

Rice's rare and unpublicized appearance at the piano marked a striking departure from her routine as America's No. 1 diplomat. A pianist from the age of 3 she played a half-dozen selections to accompany Charity Sunshine, a 21-year-old singer who was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension a little more than a year ago.

The soprano is a granddaughter of Rep. Tom Lantos (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., and his wife Annette, who Rice has known for years.

Rice, whose first name is a variation on the Italian musical term "con dolcezza," which is a direction to play with sweetness, learned to read music at the age of 3.

As a child she performed, won piano competitions and planned a career as a a concert pianist. But she switched her field of interest to international relations in her junior year at the University of Colorado and went on to be provost at Stanford University, then President Bush's assistant for national security, and now secretary of state.

Despite her busy schedule, Rice finds time to enjoy classical music and plays occasionally and privately with friends in a string quartet. In February, on a trip to Europe, she visited a Parisian music school, Conservatoire Hector Berlioz, after a session with French political elite.

Rice tapped her toes to keep time as a music teacher led a group of students age 7 to 9 through their scales. She told the youngsters, "It takes a lot of work to learn to read music. You have to practice and practice and practice."

If someone wanted to really learn about being a great person ... they would do well to learn about this great person and emulate her.

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