“She was making a reasonable request,” he said, though he added that he would have preferred to speak with Clinton before she made the decision.
With his travel plans abruptly changed, Rohrabacher said he nevertheless spent a productive weekend in Dubai. While the rest of the congressional delegation (codel), led by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Tex.), went on to Afghanistan, he met with the emir of Abu Dhabi, the military commander in the area and economic experts.
The flap began when Karzai learned that Rohrabacher — who took the seat of a colleague who couldn’t make the trip at the last minute — would be part of the delegation, which left the United States on Friday. “He went berserk,” Rohrabacher said, and told the State Department that the entire codel would be denied if Rohrabacher was included.
The California Republican, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs oversight subcommittee, is a longtime critic of Karzai’s administration and the country’s system of government, which he contends is too centralized. Earlier this year, Rohrabacher and other lawmakers angered Karzai and caused a diplomatic kerfuffle when they met with members of the opposition Northern Alliance in Berlin.
“It’s a case of shoot the messenger,” Rohrabacher said. “The fact that I’m . . . talking about alternative power structures is a great threat to him. But I am not Hamid Karzai’s problem.”
In Afghanistan, other members of the delegation met with former Northern Alliance leaders on Sunday.
If not Rice, who?
Former secretary of state
created a bit of buzz last week when it was reported that she topped a CNN-ORC poll of Republicans as their choice to be Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate.
Rice has repeatedly said she doesn’t want the job. Thus she joins a long list of “potentials” who, as our colleague David A. Farenthold
wrote, have hewed to the tradition of ruling themselves out as the running mate — but, of course, would take the job in a heartbeat if offered.
Here are the poll results:
Rice led the field with 26 percent, followed by former senator
of Pennsylvania (21 percent); Sen.
of Florida and New Jersey Gov.
(tied with 14 percent); Rep.
Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (8 percent); Louisiana Gov.
(5 percent); and Virginia Gov.
(1 percent). Sen.
of Ohio got an asterisk.
of South Dakota were not mentioned in the poll, but Daniels joined Thune and others on the “not me” list Sunday. And there’s always Rep.
of Florida, a favorite of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
So will Romney pick one of those in the poll? Maybe another candidate?
Yes, it’s time once again for the Loop “Pick the Veep” contest. Simply guess whom Romney’s choice will be and the date that choice will be officially announced.
You can leave a comment on the blog,
intheloop (make sure there’s an active e-mail address associated with your washingtonpost.com log-in). You can also e-mail us at email@example.com (make sure you include a home or cell number so we can contact you).
The top 10 winners will receive a coveted In the Loop T-shirt and the usual bragging rights when we announce winners. (If you need to enter “on background,” that’s fine.)
Don’t delay! Deadline for entries is April 30. Ties will be broken by date of entry.
Not every hero wears a cape. Or happens to be Newark Mayor
A student pollster at Marist College may have saved the life of a Manhattan woman whom he had called to ask about Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the local NBC affiliate reported.
When the student began talking to Bobby Berlin last week, he sensed that she was in distress. “Something just sounded off,” the student told the NBC station. “It was just really heavy breathing and panting.”
He alerted his supervisor, who called 911. An ambulance arrived to take Berlin, who was suffering from diabetic shock, to the hospital, possibly saving her life.
She seems to have recovered well. The station reports: “Berlin’s only regret is that she did not get to answer the pollsters’ questions about Bloomberg.
“When asked by NBC New York if she had strong opinions about the mayor, Berlin quipped, ‘I certainly do, and they are all negative.’ ”
Recipients of pollsters’ calls are often tempted to hang up, but this is one reason to stay on the line.
With Emily Heil
The blog: washingtonpost.com/intheloop. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.