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Transfer of Spokesman Role Boucher to McCormack

Remarks on the Transfer of Spokesman Role from Richard Boucher to Sean McCormack

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
June 3, 2005


SECRETARY RICE: Okay, don't get excited. I didn't come to answer questions. (Laughter)

QUESTION: You never know.

SECRETARY RICE: You never know. That's right. I came to make a handoff here.

Richard Boucher, I cannot thank you enough for breaking in a new Secretary in fine, fine form. Richard has, of course, been here for, he tells me, five years. How do you say it? "May of Albright until June of Rice," is the way I am told that it's said. (Laughter)

Richard, obviously, has been the consummate professional. He is somebody on whom I have relied not just for advice on communications and press matters but on all kinds of matters of foreign policy because he is, of course, an economics officer who has served around the world and served in Hong Kong, knows Asia really well and was particularly helpful to me on that trip to Asia in helping me get the substance of that trip right.

And I know that we're going to find the right place for Richard to continue to serve in this government, provided that he wants to do so after getting to know us all. But he has been really fantastic and I can't thank you enough, Richard, for what you have done. And I am sure that all of you want to thank him for taking your phone calls at all kinds of hours of the day and night and being available and trying to get answers for you.

He is handing off to Sean McCormack, also an economics officer in the Foreign Service. There seems to be a trend here. (Laughter) And Sean, of course, served as Spokesman for the National Security Council when I was at the NSC. He is an outstanding officer and has, like all of us, been through a lot over the last several years as we've dealt with the war on terrorism and two wars and reconstruction efforts and all kinds of things. And so Sean will be the new face and voice of the State Department. But he's a fine officer. I know you're going to enjoy working with him. He is also somebody who I value for not just his press and communications advice but for his foreign policy advice and he is very much a part of my team, as was Richard.

So I just wanted to come and be able to make the handoff personally, but to especially thank Richard for the great service. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. BOUCHER: (Off mike) Let's all come up here.

QUESTION: We should thank his family. (Laughter)

QUESTION: We should thank his family.

SECRETARY RICE: Oh, is your family here? Wait a minute. I didn't know that. (Laughter) Thank you. (Laughter) They didn't tell me -

MR. BOUCHER: They didn't tell me, either. (Laughter)

SECRTARY RICE: She is obviously a very patient woman. (Laughter)

MR. BOUCHER: May I?

MR. MCCORMACK: Absolutely.

MR. BOUCHER: I just want to thank my family for putting up with me (laughter) for putting up with you, and for running everything when I was gone and working so much. So thanks, darling. (Applause.)

2005/587

Released on June 3, 2005

ENDS


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