A Romney-Rice Ticket? Report of Condi as Vice Presidential Nominee Has Republicans Divided, Excited
The Condoleezza Rice mirage is back.
|Do You Like this Article? Then Like Us on Facebook.|
With a banner headline on the Drudge Report Thursday night proclaiming her a leading prospect for the vice presidency, Rice has returned to a familiar role: the irresistible, all-too-perfect fantasy candidate of the Republican Party.
Never mind the fact that there are glaring reasons why the former Secretary of State could be a political fiasco. She's an abortion rights-supporting former Bush administration official who has never run for public office and whose time in Washington is remembered less than fondly by many.
But as the highest-ranking African American woman ever to serve in public office - and one of few black leaders the Republican Party has - Rice has a demographic allure that has not faded since she left Foggy Bottom. With the GOP working to define its foreign policy platform, Rice is one of the country's most famous diplomats and an accomplished academic to boot.
In a way, she's the Republican Party's answer to Sam Nunn or Evan Bayh: two former conservative Democratic senators, hawkish on national defense, who were mentioned for years as potential national candidates simply because they looked so good on paper. A running joke in Democratic circles over multiple presidential cycles: Those pushing Nunn and Bayh had never heard either man give a speech or try to work a rope line.
"She's the shining ornament at the top of the Christmas tree that we can always admire but never reach," said GOP consultant Bruce Haynes, who called Rice a "figure of eternal fascination" for Republicans.
"If you drew up a candidate on the drawing board, it would look a lot like Condoleezza Rice. Except she wouldn't be pro-choice, which could really depress enthusiasm for the ticket," Haynes continued. "And she wouldn't be tied to the Bush administration, which is something that, given the choice, the campaign probably doesn't want to litigate."
As it is, the Drudge plug for Rice in 2012 was greeted largely with a collective groan on the part of the Republican operative class.
To most, it looked like an all-too-obvious attempt on the part of Drudge - a known Romney campaign ally - to divert attention from several days' worth of punishing headlines about Romney's record at the private equity firm Bain Capital.
One Republican campaign strategist emailed in reaction to the report: "Doesn't it have to be someone believable to actually distract people and at least pretend it's not a diversionary tactic?"
Yet Rice's allure within elite Republican ranks is undeniable. Even as Washington scoffed at Drudge's reporting, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan waxed effusive in her Wall Street Journal column on what the Stanford professor could bring to a national ticket.
"Consider: A public figure of obvious and nameable accomplishment whose attainments can't be taken away from her. Washington experience--she wouldn't be learning on the job. Never run for office but no political novice. An academic, but not ethereal or abstract," Noonan wrote. "A woman in a year when Republicans aren't supposed to choose a woman because of what is now called the 2008 experience--so the choice would have a certain boldness."
For several weeks, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol has pointed to Rice as a counter-intuitive choice for vice president. After Rice spoke at a Romney campaign retreat in Park City, Utah, Kristol penned a column suggesting: "Romney-Rice?"
Gospel Music Videos
Music Video Search
- Secretary Kerry to Release Report on International Religious Freedom
- Evangelical Leader Notes Wide Support for International Religious Freedom Ambassador as State Department Releases IRF Report Today
- DAILY INSPIRATION: Conform to HIS Image
- U.S. Policy and Programs in Support of International Religious Freedom
- UPDATED BI-WEEKLY COLUMNS! Read Enjoy
- Christianity Today's Church Law Tax Publications Win Top Awards from the Evangelical Press Association
- From Prison to Praise
- Disney Employee Pastor (Cedric Eugene Cuthbert) Downloaded Child Porn at Work