Palo Alto, CA — Former Bush Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said during a recent NBC Meet the Press interview that she’s dropping the “Dr.” part of name and salutation. Ms. Rice, who holds a Ph.D. from the School of International Studies at the University of Denver, said she wasn’t doing this due to political pressure.
“I’ve given this a lot of thought,” said Ms. Rice during her early morning interview, “and given all that’s going on, the only real doctors are medical physicians. All kinds of people think they can call themselves a doctor. I mean, a mathematician, a doctor? Give me a break.”
The timing of her announcement coincides with recent criticism of Joe Biden’s wife Jill, who holds a Ph.D. in Education. A recent inflammatory and some have called chauvinistic Wall Street Journal opinion by Joseph Epstein criticized Ms. Biden for insisting on the “Dr.” moniker.
“‘Dr. Jill Biden sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic. Your degree is, I believe, an Ed.D., a doctor of education, earned at the University of Delaware,” opined Mr. Epstein who holds no more than a Bachelor of Arts degree and teaches driver’s education on the weekends. “A wise man once said that no one should call himself “Dr.” unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc.”
Critics of Mr. Epstein have pointed out that his standard seems to apply to women and that people who share his reactionary point of view seem immune from his criticism.
When asked if her sudden change of heart was related to the Dr. Biden incident, Ms. Rice shook her head.
“Well, no. Of course not. I wish Ms. Biden the best. It’s just a personal choice I’ve made independent of the news cycle. If people want to call me Dr. Rice, I’m not going to stop them, but I’m not going to be signing documents anymore like that.”