Rice visit sideshow to Peters’ circus

Tracy Watkins concludes her comments on Condoleezza Rice’s visit with these observations:

Peters might have hoped he would not be asked about it today in front of Rice – well, that was never going to happen after the farce played out yesterday at a press conference at which Mr Peters was supposed to clear up the issues around a donation by millionaire Sir Bob Jones.

Peters blustered and obfuscated for 40 minutes, giving journalists no alternative but to put the issue to him today. To do otherwise would have looked like we accepted Peters’ position yesterday.

Silly man, the more he blusters the deeper the hole he’s digging for himself.

It will be interesting to see now whether the PM fronts up to reporters after her press conference with Rice, as has tended to be her practice.

Given the constraints on our ability to ask questions of her and Rice at their formal press conference – media are allowed just four questions in total, two to foreign journalists and two to New Zealand media – you would expect her to come down after and give us a separate briefing. It’s something she has often done in the past after all.

If she refuses then we will be entitled to draw our own conclusions; that she is still weighing up the fall out from the Peters presser yesterday and isn’t ready to rush out yet in fulsome support.

The only rush should be for a full, independent inquiry.

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