Monday, November 15, 2010

Lunch with Condoleezza Rice!

"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same."~~Condi Rice

I mentioned last week that I was going to the KMBZ Business Forum to hear Condi Rice speak. It was pouring down rain, and my friend and I narrowly avoided an 8 car pile up, but we arrived in time. I had to laugh when I saw 2 loony protesters standing in the rain, across the street, with their signs. So, I made their day by taking their picture.

The place was packed as you can see by my pictures. The interview was amazing and I was struck by the similarity between Rice and Antonin Scalia. Rice and Scalia are both such experts in their fields and extremely intelligent that you are surprised at how witty they are too. Rice told several, great stories that had everyone either laughing or clapping.

She began by saying that it was nice for her to start off her day by not having to read terrorist reports with her morning coffee anymore. Below are some of the questions she was asked and summaries of her answers. Neither the questions nor the answers are direct quotes.

How has race been an issue?
~~She said it hadn't been an issue as Secretary of State because no one wanted to make her mad :-). Yet, she did share a story from her school years of a counselor not expecting much of her. She quoted her former boss, Bush's phrase, "the soft bigotry of low expectations".

What was her response to the Bush/Kanye West incident?
~~She said that Bush cared deeply about minority children and that the incident was hurtful. She said that we have to be very careful how we talk about race because the conversation ends once you call someone a racist.

How do you stay so optimistic?
~~She mentioned that she is a minister's daughter and that her faith plays a big part in her optimism. She also makes sure she exercises and tries to take some time to rest.

How has religion played a role in your life?
~~She talked about how you can't really separate religion from her life, its just a part of who she is. Prayer is a huge part of it, her prayers and then she was often overwhelmed at how many people would tell her that they were praying for her.

Why have you decided not to criticize the current administration?
~~She said she figured they have enough people chirping at them and besides if she wants to give them advice she can call them instead of telling the NY Times (that got a lot of applause).

She talked about 9/11, Iran and Iraq and about encouraging young people to pursue what they are passionate about and love to do.

We also got autographed copies of her book, Extraordinary People, Ordinary People as part of the ticket price. It was a great time!

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