Example: [Collected via e-mail, September 2005]
Origins: The rumor about
A fellow shopper shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" — presumably referring to Louisiana and Mississippi.
The woman expressing her First Amendment rights was promptly removed from the store. A Ferragamo store manager confirmed to us that Rice did shop there yesterday, but refused to answer questions about whether the protester was removed, and whether by his own security or the Secret Service.
That evening, upon arriving at the Palace Hotel, I flipped on the television. Indeed, the hurricane had hit New Orleans. I called Henrietta, who said that the main issue was making sure our people were safe. She'd also convened a departmental task force because offers of foreign assistance were pouring in. I called Secretary of Homeland Security Mike Chertoff, inquiring if there was anything I could do. "It’s pretty bad," he said. We discussed the question of foreign help briefly, but Mike was clearly in a hurry. He said he'd call if he needed me. I hung up, got dressed, and went to see Spamalot.
The next morning, I went shopping at the Ferragamo shoe store down the block from my hotel, returned to the Palace, and again turned on the television. The airwaves were filled with devastating pictures from New Orleans. And the faces of most of the people in distress were black. I knew right away that I should never have left Washington. I called my chief of staff, Brian Gunderson. "I'm coming home," I said.
As many others have pointed out, although one might direct criticism towards government officials such as the President of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response for failing to coordinate adequate response to large-scale emergencies within the U.S., such efforts were largely outside the purview of the Secretary of State.
Last updated: 25 October 2011
Rice, Condoleezza. No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington. New York: Crown Publishing, 2011.   ISBN 0-307-58786-X. [New York] Daily News. "As South Drowns, Rice Soaks in N.Y." 2 September 2005. AFP. "Rice Regrets Shoe Shopping Amid Katrina Disaster: Book." 23 October 2011.