The Senate must approve Rice’s nomination.
“During the last four years I’ve relied on her counsel, benefited from her great experience and appreciated her sound and steady judgment,” the president said, appearing with Rice at the White House. “And now I’m honored that she’s agreed to serve in my Cabinet.”
The president called the secretary of state “America’s face to the world” and said, “in Dr. Rice the world will see the strength, grace and decency of our country.”
“When confirmed by the Senate, Condoleezza Rice will take office at a critical time for our country,” President Bush said. “We’re a nation at war; we’re leading a large coalition against a determined enemy; we’re putting in place new structures and institutions to confront outlaw regimes, to oppose proliferation of dangerous weapons and materials, and to break up terror networks.”
In her statement, Rice praised the president’s foreign policy.
“Under your leadership, America is fighting and winning the war on terror,” Rice said. “You have marshaled great coalitions that have liberated millions from tyranny, coalitions that are now helping the Iraqi and Afghan people build democracies in the heart of the Muslim world. And you have worked to widen the circle of prosperity and progress in every corner of the world.”
Rice said that she “looks forward, with the approval of the Senate, to implementing your hopeful and ambitious agenda.”
Rice is the second replacement named for a Cabinet that, thus far, has six departing members as the president enters his second term. Last week, President Bush named White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to replace outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Both the president and Rice praised Colin Powell for his service.
“He has been one of the most effective and admired diplomats in America’s history,” President Bush said. “Secretary Powell has helped to rally the world in a global war, has helped to resolve dangerous regional conflicts; he’s helped to confront the desperate challenges of hunger, poverty and disease. He has been tireless and selfless and principled, and our entire nation is grateful for his lifetime of service.”
She called Powell one of America’s “finest public servants” and her “mentor and friend.”
Rice was the first woman to serve as national security adviser to the president and, if approved by the Senate, she will be the first African American woman to be secretary of state. Prior to joining the Bush administration Rice was a political science professor and the provost of Stanford University. Her academic work centered on Europe and the former Soviet Union.
During the first Bush administration Rice served on the National Security Council and as a special assistant to the president. Rice is a native of Birmingham, Ala., and is a trained concert pianist.
The president announced Tuesday that Rice’s current deputy, Stephen Hadley, will become the new national security adviser.
President Bush and Rice praised Hadley for his service as deputy national security adviser.
“Steve is a man of wisdom and good judgment,” the president said. “He has earned my trust and I look forward to his continued vital service on my national security team.”
Rice called Hadley a “consummate professional.”
Hadley, a lawyer, previously served as a Defense Department official in the first Bush administration and on the national security staff under President Ford.