All Time Famous Condoleezza Rice Quotes

Condoleezza Rice Quotes

Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist, diplomat, and academic who served in various key positions in the U.S. government. Born on November 14, 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama, she became the first African-American woman to serve as the U.S. National Security Advisor (2001–2005) and the first African-American woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State (2005–2009) under President George W. Bush.

Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, and she later received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She joined the faculty of Stanford University as a political science professor in 1981 and served in various academic roles.

Her government service began in the 1980s when she served on the National Security Council under President George H.W. Bush. Later, during the administration of President George W. Bush, she played a crucial role in shaping U.S. foreign policy, especially during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the Iraq War.

Rice’s tenure as Secretary of State was marked by her involvement in international diplomacy, including efforts to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, promote democracy in the Middle East, and manage relations with countries like Russia and China.

After leaving government service, Rice returned to academia, authored several books, and remained involved in public discourse on political and international affairs. She has also been associated with various organizations and has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to public service and international relations.

Condoleezza Rice Quotes

1. “There’s no greater challenge and there is no greater honor than to be in public service.”
— Condoleezza Rice

2. “Every good leader is part manager and every good manager is part leader.”
— Condoleezza Rice

3. “Great leaders never accept the world as it was and always work for the world as it should be.”
— Condoleezza Rice

4. “Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure it well, enjoy and then, not now, think about what comes next.”
— Condoleezza Rice

5. “Education is of no value and talent is worthless – unless you have an unwavering aim. Never find yourself without a compass.”
— Condoleezza Rice

6. “When somebody underestimated me, it made me want to prove them wrong.”
— Condoleezza Rice

7. “I firmly believe you never should spend your time being the former anything.”
— Condoleezza Rice

8. “We need a common enemy to unite us.”
— Condoleezza Rice

9. “Truly remarkable leadership is not just about motivating others to follow, it’s about inspiring them to become leaders themselves and setting the stage for even greater opportunities for future generations.”
— Condoleezza Rice

10. “Self-esteem comes from achievements. Not from lax standards and false praise.”
— Condoleezza Rice

11. “You might not be able to control your circumstances but you can control your response to your circumstances.”
— Condoleezza Rice

12. “Power is nothing unless you can turn it into influence.”
— Condoleezza Rice

13. “Defeating Human Trafficking is a great moral calling of our time.”
— Condoleezza Rice

14. “What you know today can affect what you do tomorrow, but not what you did yesterday.”
— Condoleezza Rice

15. “Every life is worthy and every life is capable of greatness. We have an obligation to make sure that opportunity for greatness is there.”
— Condoleezza Rice

16. “The first step for a leader is to be right with yourself. Integrity is the basis of leadership.”
— Condoleezza Rice

17. “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
— Condoleezza Rice

18. “Every life is capable of greatness.”
— Condoleezza Rice

19. “In America, with education and hard work, it really does not matter where you came from; it matters only where you are going.”
— Condoleezza Rice

20. “If the strong exploit the weak, democracy will not be stable.”
— Condoleezza Rice

21. “Punish France, ignore Germany, and forgive Russia.”
— Condoleezza Rice

22. “Education is transformational. It changes lives. That is why people work so hard to become educated and why education has always been the key to the American Dream, the force that erases arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture and unlocks every person’s God-given potential.”
— Condoleezza Rice

23. “Leading in a complex world means recognizing the simple things you can do to make things better.”
— Condoleezza Rice

24. “The United States government does not authorise or condone torture of detainees. Torture, and conspiracy to commit torture, are crimes under US law, wherever they may occur in the world.”
— Condoleezza Rice

25. “You can never ask others to do something you would not do. That is integrity.”
— Condoleezza Rice

26. “History’s long arc is different than the today’s headlines.”
— Condoleezza Rice

27. “There are many other arrows in our diplomatic quiver.”
— Condoleezza Rice

28. “What we’re hearing from everyone is that they understand that Saddam Hussein is a threat. They understand that he’s been a threat for a long time.”
— Condoleezza Rice

29. “We need to move beyond the idea that girls can be leaders and create the expectation that they should be leaders.”
— Condoleezza Rice

30. “Today’s headlines and history’s judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter.”
— Condoleezza Rice

31. “The Iranian people have a proud past. They merit a great future.”
— Condoleezza Rice

32. “Today’s headlines and history’s judgement are not the same.”
— Condoleezza Rice

33. “You have to have a strong sense of your values and a strong sense of who you are, because there are a lot of events and a lot of people who will pull you in this direction or that direction.”
— Condoleezza Rice

34. “The first Republican I knew was my father and he is still the Republican I most admire. He joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did. My father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I.”
— Condoleezza Rice

35. “What I tell student athletes is first of all, you’ve made good choices this far in order to be able to be in college and to be an athlete. Keep making good choices.”
— Condoleezza Rice

36. “Spirituality and faith are at the core of who I am. I was born to deeply religious parents who were able to give me that rock solid foundation in the church and in my faith which really has served me so well.”
— Condoleezza Rice

37. “Differences can be a strength.”
— Condoleezza Rice

38. “You know, I’ve never believed, in anything, that you had to have role models who looked like you to do something. If I’d been waiting for a black, female, soviet specialist role model, I’d be still waiting.”
— Condoleezza Rice

39. “You will make a difference in the world, but not immediately. Your first obligation is to find something you like doing, because if you like doing it, you’ll do it well.”
— Condoleezza Rice

40. “The essence of America – that which really unites us – is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea – and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.”
— Condoleezza Rice

41. “Well, there are many things, whenever you look back, that you would’ve done differently. We’re all human. We do our best at the time. I really wish that we had passed a comprehensive immigration bill because that would’ve really helped our country. We came close, but we couldn’t.”
— Condoleezza Rice

42. “I use the word power broadly. Even more important than military and economic power is the power of ideas, the power of compassion, and the power of hope.”
— Condoleezza Rice

43. “Everyone wants Russia to be a prosperous, democratic state that is fully integrated.”
— Condoleezza Rice

44. “I was born in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. I didn’t have a white classmate till we moved to Denver.”
— Condoleezza Rice

45. “You never cede control of your own ability to be successful to something called racism.”
— Condoleezza Rice

46. “I never much cared for politics. I love policy, and I love international policy in particular. I got to be Secretary of State; it really doesn’t get much better than that. I love what I do. I love being a professor.”
— Condoleezza Rice

47. “If I can look at your zip code and I can tell whether you’re going to get a good education, we’ve got a real problem.”
— Condoleezza Rice

48. “This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can threaten its neighbors, occupy a capital, overthrow a government, and get away with it. Things have changed.”
— Condoleezza Rice

49. “My mom was a teacher – I have the greatest respect for the profession – we need great teachers – not poor or mediocre ones.”
— Condoleezza Rice

50. “Your friends and your family, if you’re close to them, they won’t let you get too far from who you were or from who you are. And so I love staying close to people who’ve always known me. That’s probably the best leavening that you could possibly have.”
— Condoleezza Rice

51. “Multilateral diplomacy is hard. It’s slower, it’s tougher, it’s a bigger slog. I’ve learned that sometimes the things you’d most like to do something about, you really have difficulty unless the international community really mobilizes.”
— Condoleezza Rice

52. “I’ve never really been a workaholic. I work very hard, but I also enjoy playing. I think it’s important to have a balanced and well-rounded life.”
— Condoleezza Rice

53. “Democracy is the most realistic way for diverse peoples to resolve their differences, and share power, and heal social divisions without violence or repression.”
— Condoleezza Rice

54. “It takes courage to set priorities because doing so is an admission that American policy cannot be all things to all people – or rather to all interest groups.”
— Condoleezza Rice

55. “After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful political and economic experiment in human history.”
— Condoleezza Rice

56. “Once a month I play with a chamber music quartet. I play almost no solo music anymore because I so enjoy the interaction. The members of my quartet have become some of my best friends and so I really enjoy it now in ways that I didn’t before.”
— Condoleezza Rice

57. “We’re not going to negotiate about the terms of terrorism. You don’t negotiate about terrorism. It’s is wrong to engage in terrorism, and there isn’t anything to negotiate.”
— Condoleezza Rice

58. “It’s so much a part of me that it’s almost hard to describe myself in the absence of it. I know that for me it means asking for guidance, and that in the toughest times there’s a personal savior that I can rely on. And I’m very grateful to my parents for giving me that.”
— Condoleezza Rice

59. “Out of struggle very often comes victory.”
— Condoleezza Rice

60. “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
— Condoleezza Rice

61. “It’s bad policy to speculate on what you’ll do if a plan fails when you’re trying to make a plan work.”
— Condoleezza Rice

62. “What we will not wait for is that particular nexus of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction that is extremism, and the technology to come together in a way that is harmful to the United States.”
— Condoleezza Rice

63. “I’m a great believer in the fact that as you get to know someone, it matters not what religious background they have, or what their nationality is, or where they came from. And I think that’s how Americans really do relate to each other on a personal level.”
— Condoleezza Rice

64. “When you’re in government, of course, you have protection and you have people who are looking out for your wellbeing, but you can’t live in a state of fear. If you do, you’re not going to do your job very well and you’re going to give yourself high blood pressure, which probably isn’t worth it.”
— Condoleezza Rice

65. “I’m a committed Republican. I believe very strongly in individual liberty. I tend not to think much in terms of group politics. I really am a kind of small government person and I’m most certainly a fiscal conservative and strong on national defense.”
— Condoleezza Rice

66. “My job is to try to advance American foreign policy, to try to advance the president’s agenda on democracy and human rights.”
— Condoleezza Rice

67. “So I think, if September 11 taught us anything, it taught us that we’re vulnerable, and vulnerable in ways that we didn’t fully understand.”
— Condoleezza Rice

68. “I find that the great majority of public servants across the entire political spectrum come because they believe in the United States and they want to change the world.”
— Condoleezza Rice

69. “I’ve always said that I expected to grow up and get married like any nice southern girl, but the fact is you don’t get married in the abstract. You find someone that you’d like to be married to.”
— Condoleezza Rice

70. “Well, of course, all of the statistics say there are fewer eligible black men in my circle. But I’ve never thought of it that way. I believe that if the right person came into my life that would have been terrific.”
— Condoleezza Rice

71. “We’re in the middle of the transformation of a society that has handled its politics through repression to a society that will handle its politics through democratic institutions.”
— Condoleezza Rice

72. “I’m saying there is no way that I will do this, because it’s really not me. I know my strengths, and governor Romney needs to find someone who wants to run with him. There are many people who will do it very, very well, and I’ll support the ticket.”
— Condoleezza Rice

73. “I didn’t run for student council president. I don’t see myself in any way in elected office. I love policy. I’m not particularly fond of politics.”
— Condoleezza Rice

74. “Societies that treat women badly are dangerous. The empowerment of women is not only morally right it is also practical in the positive impact it has on so many social ills.”
— Condoleezza Rice

75. “I don’t think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile.”
— Condoleezza Rice

76. “When are we going to stop making excuses for the terrorists and saying that somebody is making them do it? No, these are simply evil people who want to kill.”
— Condoleezza Rice

77. “Success is not assured, but America is resolute: this is the best chance for peace we are likely to see for some years to come – and we are acting to help Israelis and Palestinians seize this chance.”
— Condoleezza Rice

78. “I’ve been an athlete all my life. I was a competitive figure skater, and then when I realized skating was not an adult sport I took up tennis and played that quite seriously from the time I was about 18.”
— Condoleezza Rice

79. “My parents elected me president of the family when I was 4. We actually had an election every year and I always won. I’m an only child, and I could count on my mother’s vote.”
— Condoleezza Rice

80. “As I was telling my husband – As I was telling President Bush.”
— Condoleezza Rice

81. “I don’t like anything that’s “just an escape.” To me the best part of golf is that, unlike my tennis game, I can actually get better. I’ve probably reached my plateau in tennis, but in golf I have a lot of room for improvement. I really enjoy working on my game. I like practicing. I chart my rounds.”
— Condoleezza Rice

82. “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.”
— Condoleezza Rice

83. “For the United States, supporting international development is more than just an expression of our compassion. It is a vital investment in the free, prosperous, and peaceful international order that fundamentally serves our national interest.”
— Condoleezza Rice

84. “People may oppose you, but when they realize you can hurt them, they’ll join your side.”
— Condoleezza Rice

85. “But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let’s remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”
— Condoleezza Rice

86. “Does anybody think these people were just sitting around drinking tea?”
— Condoleezza Rice

87. “When diplomacy has been exhausted, the Security Council must become involved. Questions about Iran’s nuclear activities remain unanswered, despite repeated efforts by the IAEA.”
— Condoleezza Rice

88. “I’m an American, nothing is impossible.”
— Condoleezza Rice

89. “No American president can support an Egypt that calls into question the historic treaty between Israel and Egypt. And no American president can support an Egypt that doesn’t fully recognize women’s rights or the rights of religious minorities.”
— Condoleezza Rice

90. “Well, there’s been plenty of ultimatums, and one thing that we better be very clear is that we can’t continue to have the kind of defiance of the United Nations, the defiance of the international community that we’ve had.”
— Condoleezza Rice

91. “Your passion may be hard to spot, so keep an open mind and keep searching.”
— Condoleezza Rice

92. “I don’t think anybody can take the word of Saddam Hussein and his regime, and certainly an American president and allies who are obligated to worry about the safety and security of our countries, cannot take the word of this dictator, who lies, pathologically lies.”
— Condoleezza Rice

93. “The fact is, race is a constant factor in American life. Yet reacting to every incident, real or imagined, is crippling, tiring, and ultimately counterproductive. I grew up in a family that believed that you might not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control your reaction to them. There was no room for being a victim or depending on the white man to take care of you.”
— Condoleezza Rice

94. “We know that there are unaccounted-for Scud and other ballistic missiles in Iraq. And part of the problem is that, since 1998, there has been no way to even get minimal information about those programs except through intelligence means.”
— Condoleezza Rice

95. “Our policies toward Iraq simply are to protect the region and to protect Iraq’s people and neighbors.”
— Condoleezza Rice

96. “The quicker we get about the business of reducing our reliance on oil the better.”
— Condoleezza Rice

97. “Now, al Qaeda’s on the run. Afghanistan is no longer a base of operations. The Afghan government is a friendly government that is trying to bring democracy to its people.”
— Condoleezza Rice

98. “You do have to keep in mind as you’re going through extraordinarily difficult circumstances, that if you stay true, true to your values, if you stay true to your principles, if you believe in these values, then you can work in that context to right policies that may not be working.”
— Condoleezza Rice

99. “Diplomacy, if properly practiced, is not just talking for the sake of talking.”
— Condoleezza Rice

100. “But I want to just caution, it is not incumbent on the United States to prove that Saddam Hussein is trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. He’s already demonstrated that he’s trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction.”
— Condoleezza Rice

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