Portland's left-tilting activists don't take kindly to visits from former Bush officials
, and they were ready to protest today when they heard Condoleezza Rice
would be at a National Kidney Foundation
fundraiser in Portland
A last-minute cancellation by the former Secretary of State didn't mean an end to the demonstration. But it did probably mean fewer demonstrators. Only about a dozen people spent roughly 40 minutes in the Saturday morning cold, saying Rice's absence was a flex of Portland's activism muscle.
"If they try and invite anyone like Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, there's going to be a big problem," said activist Joe Walsh
, a congressional candidate in 2008.
The former Secretary of State and current Stanford professor was among six authors scheduled to speak. Barbara Hofstein,
the kidney foundation's western division president, said Rice and the other guests were chosen to provide an "interesting mix of speakers."
"Our goal is to raise money to prevent kidney disease," said Hofstein.
Hoftsein said Rice was "very apologetic" about having to cancel, but cited exhaustion after a five-week book tour.