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NYT: 'Tongues wagging' about Rice and Canada's 'sexiest MP'

Published: Tuesday September 12, 2006

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"There are perils to being unattached in the stodgy world of diplomacy," writes Helene Cooper in an article slated for Wednesday's New York Times.

"Sometimes it has seemed that all Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice needs to do is show up in public with a man, and the tongues start wagging," writes Cooper.

"The single, attractive U.S. secretary of state once drew notice for wearing black stiletto knee-high boots with an above-the-knee black skirt while reviewing U.S. troops in Germany, so she is bound to attract gossip," the article continues. "That is particularly true on the dry, acronym-ridden diplomatic circuit of NATO meetings, APEC forums and ASEAN conclaves, where much imagination has focused on possible romantic links between Rice and her counterparts."

According to Cooper, Rice now finds "herself linked to someone with similar star appeal: Peter MacKay of Canada, the single, attractive foreign minister, routinely named Canada's sexiest MP by The Hill Times in Ottawa, and the closest thing to eye candy on the diplomatic circuit" but adds the caveat that "[t]here is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Rice and MacKay are linked by anything more than their shared status as singletons."

The Times points out that Saturday's The Globe and Mail put MacKay and Rice in their "Hot and Not" list, and that, according to some blogs, "MacKay has been sweet on Rice since their first meeting in Washington last year."

One blog, Le Reveu Gauche, wrote in April that "Peter McKay Has A Crush...on Condoleeza Rice."

"Well they are both single after all," blogged Eugene Plawiuk.

"Of course it would be nice if besides wooing Ms. Rice the eligable bachelor did something for Canada," Plawiuk continued. "Besides taking it up the....."

Excerpts from the article:


Tall, athletic, young, blond and recently dumped by his girlfriend - a fellow member of Parliament, Belinda Stronach, who parted with him when she switched parties - MacKay does not look like your usual foreign minister.

MacKay has a tan and the build of someone who spends his time on the rugby field, not holed up reading G-8 communiques. Sure, at 40 years old, he's younger than Rice, 51, but that didn't stop gossips from engaging in baseless speculating.


The State Department has been quick to dump cold water over MacKay-Rice innuendoes. "No, there were no candles," Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman, said in exasperation when reporters asked for further details about a working dinner on Monday when the two sat side by side at the Pictou Lodge Resort. McCormack pointed out that the dinner was not even intimate: 14 aides and six security guards were present. "It was a well-lighted dinner, with electricity-based lighting," McCormack said.


The two do keep offering up tantalizing tidbits and comments to take out of context and misconstrue. For instance, after the Rome meeting in July, Rice gave McKay a ride aboard her plane to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a conference with Southeast Asian countries. OK, the European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, got a lift too, but he looks like, well, a diplomat.