Rice has worked to redefine administration strategy on several fronts and, in the process, has ended much of the internal squabbling, insiders say. During Bush's first term, foreign policy had two competing themes, framed by "realists" under Powell at State who sought pragmatic accommodation with the world on common goals, and "neo-conservatives" at the Pentagon and Vice President Cheney's office who had grand visions of remaking the world, even if it meant defying allies.
For the second term, Rice has charted a strategy spanning both -- her "practical idealism."
"Somebody said that, you know, the art of diplomacy is getting everybody to the place that your policies are their policies," Rice said. "Well, some of diplomacy is finding a place where your policies and their policies come together. And I think that's what we've been spending a lot of time on."
How has she achieved this unity? Simple -- she has the trust of the President.
Rice's control over policy has been enhanced because she has a close relationship with the president, and is the first secretary of state since Henry A. Kissinger to serve first as national security adviser. Stephen J. Hadley, the former deputy who inherited her old job, "has taken kind of the backseat role," said a Middle East envoy, echoing several other diplomats as well as U.S. officials. "Everything is run and coordinated from State." Bush, said one outside adviser, "trusts her absolutely, as a counselor, as a friend, as a member of the family."Read the whole thing here.