Over the past two years, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been on the Sunday talk shows 30 times, making her the most second frequent guest after Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE).
But that may be changing. In his Washington Post column, Howard Kurtz reveals that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is no longer a “prize catch” for the Sunday talk shows. She was recently turned down by both CBS and NBC:
The secretary of state has always been considered a prize catch for the Sunday talk shows. But when the White House offered Condoleezza Rice for appearances eight days ago, after a week focused on Iraq, two programs took the unusual step of turning her down.
Executives at CBS and NBC say Rice no longer seems to be a key player on the war and that her cautious style makes her a frustrating guest.
“I expected we’d just get a repetition of the administration’s talking points, which had already been well circulated,” says Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” who questioned two senators instead. “We’d had a whole week of that with General Petraeus and President Bush.”
Television media aren’t the only ones uninterested in Rice. A few months ago, every single major newspaper turned it down an op-ed by Rice on Lebanon. Price Floyd, formerly the State Department’s director of media affairs, recounted that the piece was filled glowing references to President Bush’s wise leadership and “read like a campaign document.”
Recent reports indicate that Rice’s influence within the White House is also waning, giving way to the more extreme policies of Cheney and his allies. A Newsweek article in June found that Cheney’s national-security team had “been actively challenging Rice’s Iran strategy in recent months.” In April, Rice advocated that five members of the Iran Revolutionary Guard be freed from captivity, but she was overruled after Cheney “made the firmest case for keeping them.”
These reports contrast when Rice first became Secretary of State. The media gushingly predicted she would succeed because she and Bush “know each other so well they have conversations based on body language” and speculated that she may even run for president in 2008.
This past Sunday, none of the five network talk shows turned down Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and Fox.