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Is there Love in the Air????

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I just couldn't resist this one. It was too good to pass up.




Rice keeps her cool as papers play matchmaker

From Tim Reid in Washington




IN private moments, Condoleezza Rice concedes that being the world’s most famous diplomat can be exasperating.

There is a war on terror to fight, a volatile Middle East, an Iran with nuclear ambitions, sectarian strife in Iraq — not to mention endless speculation about her love life.




In the latest demonstration of the perils of being an attractive, articulate, female — and single — Dr Rice, the US Secretary of State, returned from an official visit to Canada yesterday with the North American press obsessed with one issue. It was not the number of Canadian troops in Afghanistan.


After spending two days in the company of Peter MacKay, Canada’s handsome, athletic — and single — foreign minister, Dr Rice’s aides were, not for the first time, dismissing fevered speculation about her relationship with a diplomatic counterpart.


“No, there were no candles,” Sean McCormick, a State Department spokesman replied with tired resignation when reporters asked about a working dinner that Dr Rice and Mr MacKay shared on Monday night. “It was a well-lighted [sic] dinner, with electricity-based lighting.”


He added that it was hardly an intimate affair, as 14 aides and six security guards also attended.


But such disclaimers did little to end the gossip, especially after Dr Rice admitted during a press conference that she had been introduced to Mr MacKay’s family when she visited his hometown of Stellerton, Nova Scotia. “Family means a great deal to me,” Dr Rice, 51, said. “They remind you of the things that you do when you were five years old.”


Mr MacKay, 11 years her junior and a member of Stephen Harper’s conservative Government, then chipped in: “Something else I’ve learnt about Secretary Rice is she loves the cool Atlantic breezes here in Nova Scotia, and she left the window open last night.” He had previously declared himself a “fan” of Dr Rice and said that the two share a “chemistry”.


As the collected reporters giggled, Dr Rice added: “The view, the air — I slept so well. This really is a lovely place.” Later she added: “This has been a lovely trip, Peter.” Mr MacKay was recently dumped by his girlfriend, the Canadian politician Belinda Stronach, who had been linked to Bill Clinton, the former US President. In April rumours swirled about Dr Rice and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary. They, too, enjoyed a genuinely warm and platonic relationship after it emerged that he accepted her offer of the only bed on her official aircraft. Mr Straw and Dr Rice also visited each other’s home towns, Blackpool, and Birmingham, Alabama.

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