The Washington Times reports that on the eve of Obama's tour of the Middle East and Europe, Condoleeza Rice sent a cable to American embassies around the world with instructions on how to handle presidential candidates who show up on their doorsteps:

"Provide de minimis assistance to the candidate with logistical arrangements," said the cable, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times. "If the campaign staff wants to rent a bus for press, tell them where they can rent a bus."

The Times notes that the State Department didn't issue any special instructions when McCain took his own tour of Europe and the Middle East four months ago, but that was because

during that trip he led an official congressional delegation, officials said.

Fair enough. Obama's visits to Afghanistan and Iraq have been as a member of a CODEL, but his trips elsewhere will be as a candidate. Of course, McCain himself recently took a trip abroad as a candidate (and not as part of a CODEL) when he went to Colombia and Mexico. Why didn't Rice send out her cable before that trip?

P.S. But maybe Rice's cable will reassure K-Lo as to where her loyalties lie.

--Jason Zengerle