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Condoleezza Rice Interview by The Washington Post

Interview by Lisa Rein and Niki Kahn of The Washington Post

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
June 3, 2006

QUESTION: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY RICE: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: And when did you learn (inaudible)?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, my mother first had breast cancer in 1970 and I was 15. Fortunately she survived, was a survivor till I was 30, which made a huge difference. And I just wonder and marvel at the treatment options and the prevention options that really weren't there.

QUESTION: And when you think about being African-American and the legacy (inaudible), you suffer a lot about this. You're from Alabama. Just talk about your concern.

SECRETARY RICE: I just think we have to get the word out to people that while there's no cure yet and while we don't know the real secret to prevention, there's so many things that you can do with diet and your exercise and also there's a lot that you can do to make sure that you're properly screened. Too many women, particularly in the African-American community, don't get screened for breast cancer; and the earlier that you find the disease, the better off you are. And so my message to people would be make sure to take advantage of the screening options that are available.

QUESTION: When I think about strength, I heard you lifting weights. I saw Barbara Harrison.


QUESTION: How much were you lifting and what's your message to especially people of color who really see you as a source of strength, you know, just in general, what you (inaudible)?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I appreciate that very much, but I just -- look, America has come a long way and we're fortunate enough -- I'm not even the first African-American Secretary of State. That would have been Colin Powell. So we've now had back-to-back African-American Secretaries of State. We still have a long way to go to make sure that life is really equal and sometimes in health care that shows up, in health care differentials. So I would just say to everyone, you know, please take advantage of screening.

QUESTION: And you came from overseas to do -- I mean, why did you want to -- I know you wanted to be here, but when you think about where you've been, you was overseas dealing with Iran, now you're in D.C. with us local folks.

SECRETARY RICE: That's right.

QUESTION: What has that experience been like just for you as the Secretary?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I wanted to because Nancy Brinker is a good friend and I think they've done an amazing, amazing job and this is an exciting event. So I was on the plane last night but I got here in time.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY RICE: I got back about 5 o'clock last night.

QUESTION: Oh my gosh. Well, do you (inaudible) being sort of a marquee person at these events (inaudible)?

SECRETARY RICE: Once in a while. I don't have that many opportunities (inaudible) because of my own history with breast cancer. And you know, I'm not that unusual because breast cancer has touched almost everybody through a friend or a parent or a sister, and so it touches everybody. I'm afraid I have to go.

QUESTION: When did you lose your mother?


QUESTION: 1985. Okay.


QUESTION: But you're not going to run, though?

SECRETARY RICE: No, I've got to go to work.

QUESTION: You've got to go to work?


QUESTION: Okay, thank you.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you so much. Nice to meet you.

Released on June 3, 2006


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