Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice has already been the target of her share of cheap shots throughout her term as National Security Adviser.  Now that she’s been tapped to take over the State Department, the scrutiny seems to be hitting high gear.  The Media Research Center has gathered some of the early press, much of which is concerned that Dr. Rice will represent a rightward shift from Colin Powell’s tenure.

“Network journalists on Tuesday showed they will miss Colin Powell’s ‘moderation’ and fear Condoleezza Rice is a ‘hard right’ ideologue, but she’ll ease fears if she relies on the UN. Concluding a CBS Evening News story on how President Bush has nominated Rice for Secretary of State, John Roberts asserted that ‘senior diplomats’ maintain that ‘the jury is still out on whether Rice will be a moderate realist, as Colin Powell was, or a hard-line ideologue.’ In the morning, NBC’s Matt Lauer asked at the top of Today: ‘Does her nomination mean that U.S. foreign policy will take a hard right turn?’ After wondering if ‘there is any danger’ in how the Bush administration will be ‘speaking much more with one voice,’ Katie Couric pled to a guest: ‘Will the State Department hopefully reach out more to the United Nations?'”

Meanwhile, cartoonist Pat Oliphant has entered the race for the most appalling Condi cartoon, featuring her as a distorted-looking parrot to President Bush’s baby talk.