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Why is Rice talking to Carter and Clinton on the Mideast?

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Condeleezza Rice Talks to Controversial Sources

Why is Rice talking to Carter and Clinton on the Mideast?

Amid mounting criticism from Administration supporters about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice getting advice on the Middle East from former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, her top spokesman called me to explain that America’s top diplomat is “drawing on experience” — and nothing else.

Underscoring the point that Carter “asked for a meeting” with her and she spoke to Clinton by telephone — and that both talked about “the Middle East and other things,” top State Department spokesman Sean McCormack explained that “Secretary Rice is reaching out to people on both sides of the aisle.  People should not read into it anything more.”  McCormack, a former deputy press secretary in the Bush White House, also noted that Rice has spoken to former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz — and she talks to Schultz “periodically,” he added — to people “in academia with government experience and those who are just in academia.”

“She is drawing on experience,” he told me, and that doing so “makes sense to her.”

McCormack went on to say that Rice wanted “to learn the lessons of history, about things that worked and things that didn’t work.”

When I mentioned that both Carter and Clinton are controversial when it comes to the Middle East — Carter for recent comments in books and interviews that were harshly anti-Israeli and Clinton for the Rabin-Arafat summit over which he presided that was criticized for its emphasis on “land for peace” — McCormack would not come close to criticism of the policies of the two former Democratic Presidents.  In his words, “It’s a different point in time now.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t draw on what happened before.”  Even if what happened before is failure?

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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