Got over a 100 people from outside working on the visit. My part really starts tomorrow when I need to be able to respond to whatever the Secretary asks and seem to know what I am doing. In this sort of visit, protocol is him and COM, all others follow. Show time.
Meeting with the Foreign Minister and then the President. At midnight, we were in the Secretary's suite in the Hilton "brainstorming." During the rides, I was in the limo with him and briefed him and answered questions. This morning, he met the Embassy staff and had another meeting before going on the plane at noon to go to Darfur. On the plane, we brainstormed some more. Met the African Union ceasefire monitors in El Fasher and then NGO workers. Quickly toured a camp for the displaced and then back to Khartoum. Total trip took less than five hours in the big 757. At the airport, we met with the UN Secretary General and then the Sudanese Vice President. After a press conference, he said goodbye and left.
Powell is smart, considerate and patient. Spent a fair amount of time with him and it was a pleasure. Got on pretty good terms. He took on board my ideas, asked my questions and drifted toward my perspectives. I took the opportunity to ask if might put in a word in support of my staying. He said he hadn't yet spoken to new A/S since she was sworn in. He didn't say he would or would not. But he didn't seem bothered that I asked. All in all, a few intense days (with a US Senator and Congressman also visiting) and I feel up.