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Attorney General John Ashcroft

Location: Washington, DC

ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT -- (Senate - January 26, 2005)

Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I want to detail for the Senate the reasons why I voted to support the nomination of Condoleeza Rice to be our Nation's next Secretary of State. Her diverse professional background as a Professor at Stanford University specializing in Russian affairs, her time as President Bush's National Security Advisor, and her demonstrated understanding of world affairs and diplomacy qualify her to run the Department of State.

My support for Dr. Rice does not come without reservations about the direction this administration has taken with regard to foreign policy. We confront an enormous responsibility with respect to world affairs. The individual charged with the running of the State Department will set the direction for our country's policies around the world. This person will have the power to decide whether to nurture and develop, or halt our Nation's great diplomatic efforts.

I hope Dr. Rice works to promote democracy throughout the world, not just by employing our ample military force, but that we seek to develop democracy organically, where it has not taken hold. Democracies will be more receptive to our products, ideas and people, and our Nation should approach its foreign policy decisions with these long-term goals in mind. My State of Washington is heavily reliant on international trade, and we also create and circulate information in this age of high technology, which should be a principal part of our foreign policy strategy.

The Senate does not, by confirming Dr. Rice, place the responsibility for this country's diplomacy in the hands of a single individual. I do not believe that the American people are ready to ignore the voices of our humanitarian community who remind us how fragile and vulnerable our international relationship can be. I am hopeful that these voices will be heard by Dr. Rice. I am placing my trust in her that she will embrace her duty to take into account the future and foreseeable consequences of her actions, and that she will be guided by the knowledge that this Senator will raise those consequences at all appropriate occasions.

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