Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had her 54th birthday party all planned out for last Friday. She'd return from Houston, where she'd speak to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, have dinner with friends, and then watch Denyce Graves in Carmen at the Kennedy Center. That is, until the crush of foreign ministers from Group of 20 nations descended on Washington for last weekend's economic summit with President Bush. While she never planned to play a role, her diplo-pals begged to meet with her to wish the long-serving State boss a happy birthday.
Her "no" quickly turned to "yes," we hear, after the foreign ministers of Brazil, South Korea, China, and Indonesia wouldn't take anything but. "So she shifted plans and we had the dinner at the State Department. It was very nice and they all wished her a very happy birthday," said a fellow diplomat. And, yes, she still made it to the KenCen.