Secretary's Serenade

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A long-planned get-together between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel finally came off last week, with the two huddling in Rice's private little office in Foggy Bottom. We hear Rice schmoozed the New Yorker, talking up his big issues of trade, education, diversity at State, and the differences between South Korea today and when he was in the Army during the Korean War. "She really wanted to reach out to him and across the aisle," says an aide. But when Rangel mentioned that it was his 77th birthday, the diplomat in Rice took over. Emerging from the one-on-one meeting to a room of staffers, she hummed a note and then led the crowd in "Happy Birthday."