By: E&P Staff
All day Thursday, from the New York Post to several popular blogs, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice came under attack and ridicule for having fun in Manhattan while New Orleans sank and exploded in violence. By nightfall, she had cut short her vacation and returned to her post in Washington.
The Post started it with an early morning Page Six item about Rice playing tennis with Monica Seles at a court near New York’s Grand Central. Then Drudge revealed that she had attended a Broadway play — “Spamalot,” no less — the night before.
Wonkette and Gawker got in on the action, with the latter revealing that she had just been spotted shopping for expensive shoes at a chic New York City boutique — where she had to endure another female customer shouting at her about enjoying herself in such a way while thousands were perishing down South. All of this sparked criticism at many other sites.
By Thursday night she was back in Washington, convening a perhaps-overdue staff meeting to discuss ways of coordinating offers of foreign assistance from dozens of countries and organizations.
Just hours earlier, at the State Department’s daily briefing, spokesman Sean McCormack had 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.