Although Condoleezza Rice did not mention Bush's Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, by name, her speech reflected the Bush campaign's portrayal of Kerry as having a too narrow view of the war on terrorism.
"For some it is a limited engagement whose goal is to go after Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, assume a more defensive posture at home and one day be able to put it out of our mind," Rice told the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs
"But this is not the struggle that we face. The global war on terror calls us, as President Bush immediately understood, to marshal all elements of our national power to beat terror and the ideology of hatred that protects them and recruits others to their ranks."
Democrats say Rice and other officials like Treasury Secretary John Snow and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge have been making most of their federally paid trips in swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, all of which may be critical in deciding the outcome of the Nov. 2 election.
The White House dismisses the criticism and insists Rice's speeches are not campaign events but reflect her responsibility to inform the public on national security issues.
Also - I wonder how many times the phrase "the White House dismisses" has appeared in relation to this particular administration. I know, I know, all Whit Houses dismiss things - but it seems like this one has made it an art . . . . .