Condi Rice Can't Lose

George W. Bush's foreign-policy adviser is a future superstar. But can she save Bush from himself?

The seas were angry, and European communism was in the throes of collapse. It was December 1989, and George Bush had arrived for a summit with Mikhail Gorbachev on the stormy waters off Malta in the Mediterranean. He introduced the Soviet President to his advisers, stopping near a reed-thin, 35-year-old African-American woman. "This is Condoleezza Rice," Bush told Gorbachev. "She tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union." Gorbachev looked her over--startled, in that setting, by the adviser's race, gender and youth. "I hope you know a lot," he said.

She did. As a staff member of the National Security...

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