For some reason, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice decided to invigorate MSNBC's The Last Word by agreeing to debate host/actor Lawrence O'Donnell (Big Love, Monk, Mrs. Harris, The Practice, The Lyons Den, The West Wing). How do you think that went?
O’Donnell began by asking Rice if President Obama’s visit to Ground Zero earlier today was appropriate, which she did, and she explained former President Bush’s absence, attributing it to a desire to stay out of the spotlight, and not to detract from President Obama’s moment.
Things got gradually more “tense,” as O’Donnell described it, when the subject turned to the Bush administration’s post-9/11 assessment of the threat that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq posed. Rice’s responses were mainly Bush-era Golden Oldies about things Hussein did in the early nineties, but O’Donnell’s interrogation was a 180 degree shift from the more deferential treatment the administration received from the press at the time.
Some might even say O’Donnell swung the pendulum too far the other way, at times replacing actual questions with, as Rice observed, “your own commentary,” but he did land some powerful blows, such as his invocation of Rice’s famous “mushroom cloud” quote.
Condoleezza Rice, for her part, made an excellent point as she got in the last word: