OK, slide by that and concentrate on the theoretical and historical challenges she faces. Some of these she had a role in creating; some, she just bumped into.
Begin with Iraq. Tony Blair was just in town, injecting great drafts of high-octane enthusiasm for the challenge of bringing democracy to the Arab states. In passing, we need to acknowledge Blair as a high presence on the historical scene. The stand he has taken is not popular with his own political party, but he reckons to run on his association with President Bush's crusade, and to win re-election next spring. It has to be dismaying when a major European figure makes plans that can succeed or fail according as 2,000 or 3,000 insurgents do or don't succeed in aborting the democratic enterprise in Iraq. But he is surely doing the right thing.
Condoleezza Rice isn't going to win or lose in the next six months. President Bush has not brought in a specialist whose credentials get validated or found spurious in 90 days. He has personal knowledge of how she winds in and out of critical decisions, and he trusts her judgment and seeks her advice.
The tremors of change and challenge are felt at many levels. The CIA is undergoing major convulsions as old hands deny the acceptability of new concepts of purpose and management. Two or three senior officers are resigning, and apart from the loss of their services to their country, we need to celebrate that option: the glorious option of resigning. Nobody resigned from service to Stalin or Hitler. There is simultaneously the tradition of staying in to stand by the leader. Colin Powell did that, and leaves now after a reasonable period of identifying with a leader qua leader, which is different from the leader whose policies he always endorsed.
So great ventures, democratic in composition, are struggling for historical affirmation. They are animated, ultimately, by the transcendent human ambition, which is to live as free as possible in a world in which so many claims are made on us.