January 19, 2005: Rice Is Closer to Final Vote Of Senate (washingtonpost.com)

  • Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told Rice that he assumed she was being evasive to keep the administration’s options open. “I think that the reason it’s hard to pin you down on an exit strategy or Iran or these other circumstances is you don’t want to bind this administration,” he said. ” ‘Trust us,’ I think is the message, ‘and we’ll make the best decisions.’ ” Obama urged Rice to demonstrate independence from the White House line, much as Powell had during his troubled tenure, when he was often at odds with Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. “I think that people felt that he was speaking on behalf of the American people and not simply being a mouthpiece for the administration,” Obama said.