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Rice stepping into Powell's shoes postponed

Rice stepping into Powell's shoes postponed
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Condoleeza Rice was expected to be confirmed by the Senate as US secretary of state today, but the vote has been postponed. Democrats on the committee that voted in favour of her appointment want more time to debate, after complaining about the Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq.

“I said yesterday Senator, we’ve made a lot of decisions in this period of time, some of them have been good, some of them have not been good, I’m sure. I know enough about history to stand back and recognise that you judge decisions not at the moment but in how it all ends up,” said Rice.

Her nomination was approved 16 votes to 2. It is thought she will take up her new position next week. Rice, the outgoing National Security adviser, will be stepping into the shoes of Colin Powell, who has already bid farewell to State Department staff.

“We have much to be proud of, but you are the ones who should be proud of what we have done. It has been my privilege to serve you but you are the foot soldiers of the battalion,” he said. The former soldier-turned-diplomat was America’s foreign policy supremo during troubled times.

He was popular at home and abroad but often appeared out of step with President George W. Bush.