President Announces Nomination of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State
The Roosevelt Room
12:33 P.M. EST
DR. RICE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. It has been an honor and a privilege to work for you these past four years, in times of crisis, decision and opportunity for our nation. Under your leadership, America is fighting and winning the war on terror. 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.
I look forward, with the consent of the Senate, to pursuing your hopeful and ambitious agenda as Secretary of State. Mr. President, it is an honor to be asked to serve your administration and my country once again.
And it is humbling to imagine succeeding my dear friend and mentor, Colin Powell. He is one of the finest public servants our nation has ever produced. Colin Powell has been a great and inspirational Secretary of State. It was my honor to serve alongside him, and he will be missed.
It will, of course, be hard to leave the White House, and especially to leave behind the terrific NSC staff who have served their President and their country so ably in this most challenging of times. Yet, I can leave confident in the knowledge that they will be led by the consummate professional, a man I know and admire, my colleague and friend, Steve Hadley.
Finally, let me say that in my 25 years of experience in foreign affairs, both in and out of government, I have come to know the men and women of the Department of State. I have the utmost admiration and respect for their skill, their professionalism and their dedication. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with the great people of the Foreign Service and the Civil Service. And one of my highest priorities as Secretary will be to ensure that they have all the tools necessary to carry American diplomacy forward in the 21st century.
Mr. President, thank you again for this great opportunity, and for your continued confidence in me.
THE PRESIDENT: Good job. Thank you all.