Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports, Rice and her husband “own modest stakes in companies that have until recently done business with Iran,” including oil companies. (So has Sen. John McCain, Rice’s chief inquisitor, by the way.)
Rice, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, is one of the richest members of the Obama Cabinet. (Her father owned a lumber company in British Columbia, and her husband is a former television producer.) She and her husband were worth between $23.5 million and $43.5 million in 2009, the Post reports.
Starting with columnist Dana Milbank two weeks ago, a growing number of pundits – including some who otherwise support her – have cited Rice’s frequently undiplomatic demeanor and abrasive temperament as problematic. It is noted that she once gave the late diplomat Richard Holbrook (he of no small ego) a rude, middle-digit gesture – “which suggests, if nothing else, moxie,” writes the Atlantic magazine’s Jeffrey Goldberg.
But all this talk about Rice’s prickliness and sharp elbows smacks of sexism to many.
“Why is she called abrasive, when clearly, similar toughness was hailed in our most powerful and respected secretaries of state – from Henry Kissinger to George Shultz to James Baker?” writes David Rothkopf, CEO and Editor-at-Large of Foreign Policy magazine. “All had their battles. Even reputedly smooth diplomats like Cyrus Vance and Warren Christopher could be all elbows behind the scenes.”