In an otherwise decent New York Times Book Review appraisal of Twice As Good, a new biography about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Guardian's Jonathan Freedland displays the tin ear so many of his compatriots (the Economist) have for the nuances of American politics. After an entire page describing the Secretary's control and discipline, which one might think would keep any sensible person from being enthralled by George W. Bush (apparently not), Freedland suggests that we're looking at a future occupant of the Oval Office.

None of this would matter much if Mabry's subject were merely a departing secretary of state. But it's plain, even from the jacket photo of a 9-year-old Rice posing outside the White House, that this is a book about a woman who just might become president. She certainly has the right profile for it: moderate on abortion and gay rights, firm on guns, a Californian, Rice could someday be the Schwarzenegger Republican the party is looking for. There is no doubt that she has the self-discipline and confidence. She has already come so far; who would bet against her going farther?

Um, everyone? The idea that anyone associated with this disastrous administration and the endless horrorshow in the Middle East might ever regain a shot at the big levers of power defies credulity. I mean, how badly could the Democrats botch things that Rice or even Colin Powell or particularly anyone with the last name Bush would ever be considered a viable candidate for the highest office in the land? Could any Democrat really be that incompetent?

What's that? All of them? Oh.

Madame Secretary [NYT]