Washington, Dec.11 (ANI): Condoleezza Rice appears to be looking forward to her time after ending her tenure as US Secretary of State, saying that she will write books, and is all praise for her successor Hillary Clinton.
During the course of a half an hour interview with CBS News on Tuesday, Rice voiced high hopes for Barack Obama, and heaped praise on Hillary Clinton, with whom she dined privately earlier this week.
Of Clinton, she said: "We've long had a friendly relationship, and we had a really nice talk. She'll be great (as Secretary of State). She is somebody of great intelligence. She is somebody who really loves this country, who speaks forcefully and well for American interests and values. She'll be great."
She also said that she was excited about the prospect of Barack Obama becoming President, describing it as "meaningful to me personally."
"It's meaningful to the country. I'm a kid from Birmingham, Alabama, and until we moved to Denver, Colorado, when I was 12 I didn't have a white classmate - the whole time when I went to school in Alabama. So sure! This is a huge move forward for our country. Our country has been getting there," she added.
"You know, we've had back-to-back African-American secretaries of state! We have heads of Fortune 500 companies who are black. The world's greatest golfer - not exactly a sport known for African-American dominance - is an African-American. And so, slowly but surely this country has been overcoming race," Rice said.
"We're still not race-blind. We shouldn't deceive ourselves that we've overcome everything about race. And the particular witch's brew that is race and poverty is still very, very hard. And unless we improve our ability to provide a quality education for underprivileged kids, we're not going to really overcome in a massive way our past," she warned.
She also admitted that there were some places where American policies as delivered by the Bush administration had been popular.
"The fact we've had to tell people hard things - and tell people we'll have to do hard things - is not popular. But the United States should never seek popularity. It should seek respect. It should seek a reputation for standing for the right values," Rice said.
On her plans after leaving office, she said that she would be going West of the Mississippi, where she belonged.
"I'll go back to Stanford. I'm on leave from Stanford," she said.
On being asked whether her job at Stanford was still on hold, Rice said: "Well, George Schultz was on leave for 12 years. I've been on leave for only eight. I'll go back. I plan to do some writing. I want to write, obviously, about foreign policy. I want to write a book about my parents, who were educational evangelists. I want to do work on something I worked on a lot before I came here - which is excellence in K-12 education."
She said that as Secretary of State, she had been privileged to represent the United States.
America had its strengths and its weaknesses, and care must be taken not harm its core, because that would mean losing confidence in the eyes of the world. (ANI)