Secretary Rice's swearing-in ceremony

Watching the ceremonial swearing—in of Secretary of State Rice, I was moved by the occasion, especially by the President's remarks. Faithful readers know that I regard Dr. Rice as an inspirational figure for all Americans, albeit one of special significance for African—Americans and women, a combined group accounting for almost 60% of the overall population.

The President mentioned again how Dr. Rice has become like a member of his family, and actually stated that he "loves" her. He immediately added that perhaps such words should not pass his lips at such a solemn occasion, but there you are. He does indeed love her like a member of the family.

In a flash, an image formed in my mind. I imagined myself the father of two young daughters. At the time George W. Bush first met and bonded with Dr. Rice, those daughters were young teens, and press innuendo had it that they were fun—loving, and possibly even prone to trouble.

I imagined myself as the father of such youngsters, adoring them, but worried about their futures, and with my own personal history of excess fun—loving, and a bit of personal dissolution, even. Rescued from this fate by a wife's love and that of Christ, but only after too many years had passed.

In such circumstances, I can feel what it must have been like to invite Condoleeza Rice to share the family's evening meal, as we are told the Bush family frequently did. Imagine your daughters hearing about the childhood friend killed in a savage bombing of a church in Birmingham. Imagine them hearing about the figure skating lessons leading to championships, about the music lessons leading to concert hall appearances with Yo—Yo Ma, and about the studying which led to a college degree in the late teens, and a doctorate soon after. About becoming the provost of Stanford before hitting the age of 40. All the while a devoted fan of the NFL.

The Bush twins have their own lives to lead. if they choose to do so, they could focus on the disabilities which come with a father in the Oval Office. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself in such circumstances. Or to think that rebellion is the honorable path, given all that is thrust upon you daily.

But Condi, as the family calls her, has overcome far, far more. To have such a person talking to my daughters (or sons, for that matter) personally about life's possibilities and obstacles, about what it cost her and what it has brought her to focus on being all that she can be, is a tremendous blessing. A blessing that any father would be eternally grateful for receiving.

When the President says that he loves the Secretary of State, I know exactly what he means by it.

The light emanated by Condoleeza Rice's life will illuminate far more than the Bush family's children. She is in the process of becoming an icon of intellect, a beacon of hope, and an example to all of aspirations followed and realized.

Watching the ceremonial swearing—in of Secretary of State Rice, I was moved by the occasion, especially by the President's remarks. Faithful readers know that I regard Dr. Rice as an inspirational figure for all Americans, albeit one of special significance for African—Americans and women, a combined group accounting for almost 60% of the overall population.

The President mentioned again how Dr. Rice has become like a member of his family, and actually stated that he "loves" her. He immediately added that perhaps such words should not pass his lips at such a solemn occasion, but there you are. He does indeed love her like a member of the family.

In a flash, an image formed in my mind. I imagined myself the father of two young daughters. At the time George W. Bush first met and bonded with Dr. Rice, those daughters were young teens, and press innuendo had it that they were fun—loving, and possibly even prone to trouble.

I imagined myself as the father of such youngsters, adoring them, but worried about their futures, and with my own personal history of excess fun—loving, and a bit of personal dissolution, even. Rescued from this fate by a wife's love and that of Christ, but only after too many years had passed.

In such circumstances, I can feel what it must have been like to invite Condoleeza Rice to share the family's evening meal, as we are told the Bush family frequently did. Imagine your daughters hearing about the childhood friend killed in a savage bombing of a church in Birmingham. Imagine them hearing about the figure skating lessons leading to championships, about the music lessons leading to concert hall appearances with Yo—Yo Ma, and about the studying which led to a college degree in the late teens, and a doctorate soon after. About becoming the provost of Stanford before hitting the age of 40. All the while a devoted fan of the NFL.

The Bush twins have their own lives to lead. if they choose to do so, they could focus on the disabilities which come with a father in the Oval Office. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself in such circumstances. Or to think that rebellion is the honorable path, given all that is thrust upon you daily.

But Condi, as the family calls her, has overcome far, far more. To have such a person talking to my daughters (or sons, for that matter) personally about life's possibilities and obstacles, about what it cost her and what it has brought her to focus on being all that she can be, is a tremendous blessing. A blessing that any father would be eternally grateful for receiving.

When the President says that he loves the Secretary of State, I know exactly what he means by it.

The light emanated by Condoleeza Rice's life will illuminate far more than the Bush family's children. She is in the process of becoming an icon of intellect, a beacon of hope, and an example to all of aspirations followed and realized.