Condi the other day; Condi today
Don't look to see Condoleezza Rice in any "I Love New York" ads anytime soon. After catching a Wednesday night performance of Spamalot (where she was booed when the lights came up), the Secretary of Insensitivity went shopping at Ferragamo on Fifth Avenue. While browsing thousands of dollars in new shoes (replacement dominatrix boots?), a horrified fellow shopper shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" For being so forward, Condi rewarded her by having her security toss the shopper from the store — and then decided to cut her stay short to, uh, do her job.
From NY Daily News:
Did New Yorkers chase Condoleezza Rice back to Washington yesterday?
Like President Bush, the Secretary of State has been on vacation during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, with Rice enjoying her downtime in New York Wednesday and yesterday. The cabinet member's responsibilities are usually international, but her timing contributed to the "fiddling while Rome burns" impression given by her boss during the disaster, which may have claimed thousands of lives.
On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at "Spamalot!," the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance.
Yesterday, Rice went shopping at Ferragamo on Fifth Ave. According to the Web site www.Gawker.com, the 50-year-old bought "several thousand dollars' worth of shoes" at the pricey leather-goods boutique.
A fellow shopper shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" - presumably referring to Louisiana and Mississippi.
The woman expressing her First Amendment rights was promptly removed from the store. A Ferragamo store manager confirmed to us that Rice did shop there yesterday, but refused to answer questions about whether the protester was removed, and whether by his own security or the Secret Service.
At the State Department's daily briefing yesterday morning, before the New York incident, spokesman Sean McCormack responded to a journalist who asked whether Rice was involved with hurricane relief efforts by saying, "She's in contact with the department as appropriate." He made no mention that his boss had any plans to leave New York.
But yesterday afternoon, Rice had done just that. Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore told us: "The secretary is back in Washington, and she is being briefed on the situation." Moore did not know whether Condi had planned a longer stay here.
That was the other day. Today it was announced:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she would fly to her native Alabama on Sunday to view the destruction there. She acknowledged that the trip is an unusual one for the nation's top diplomat.
"I'm an American and I'm a Southern American," she told reporters. "I just hope I can be a little bit of an extension for a president who cares deeply about what's going on in the Gulf region but can't be everywhere."
Rice, the administration's highest-ranking black, also rejected assertions by black Democratic lawmakers that the government has responded slowly to a disaster affecting many poor people.
From Norman Transcript