Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

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Born (1954-11-14) November 14, 1954 (age 57) Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Denver University of Notre Dame
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Professional Experience

  • Provost, Stanford University, 1993-1999
  • Professor, Stanford University

Political Experience

  • United States Secretary of State, 2005-2009 Appointed,
  • United States Secretary of State, January 26, 2005
  • National Security Advisor, 2001-2005
  • Senior Director/Director, Soviet and East European Affairs, National Security Council, 1989-1991
  • Special Assistant, Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1986

Click here for a detailed biography of Condoleeza Rice

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In mid December a Washington Times opinion piece stated that Dr. Rice was ”quietly positioning herself to be the top choice of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, ready to deliver bona fide foreign-policy credentials lacking among the candidates.” They added “The 56-year-old has recently raised her profile, releasing her memoir in November and embarking on a monthlong book tour”.   Whether it is true or not that Rice has been “quietly positioning herself”  for a vice presidential nomination is questionable.  This very humble, renaissance woman with above average intelligence, an unmatched resume, and wide range of interests has previously claimed that she would much rather serve  a stint as the Commissioner of the National Football League than another stint in politics.

But minds do change and Condi could actually be floating the idea by sending some behind the scenes signals that she would be willing to be the running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  She would certainly be an excellent choice.  Even though her presence on the ticket may initially draw some negative perceptions of the Bush Administration, Condi’s record is one that is strong enough to diminish such perceptions. Furthermore,  in addition to her ability to bring strong foreign affairs credentials to the ticket and bolster voter  confidence in the Republican  ticket with it, she adds a combination of troubling fear factors to the Obama relection campaign.  In addition to being African-American, she is a woman and while these are politically shallow reasons for electing our nation’s leaders, they are also very real and very undeniable political inroads in to the critical female and black voting block.  All things considered, Condoleezza Rice is an automatic addition to any Republican presidential nominee’s short list.

Except Mitt Romney’s.

Although she is remarkably diplomatic and inoffensive while at the same time possessing steel-like resolve and confidence, and while her incredibly articulate ways would be able to win more voters over than turn them off,  Mitt Romney can not afford to seem to equivocate on the issue of abortion.  After switching his position from pro-choice to right to life, he has a hard enough time convincing conservatives that he is sincerely committed to to the sanctity of life.  And the problem is that Rice is pro-choice.  It is something which conservatives can only be overlooked by many conservatives if the candidate who picks her, had a solid, 100% reocod of committment  to ending abortion and even then the selection of a pro-choice running mate would raise much more than just eyebrows.

That said, while I am a conservative who believes that choice exists before the fact, not after the fact, and therefore stand in opposition to abortion, I myself would still be supportive of Condoleezza Rice for Vice President and by natural extrapolation, for President.  I do not belive that Rice’s pro-choice position would compel her to move towars a repeal of existing restrictions, not would she propose expansion of the use of abortion as a common practice.  Indeed, she is on record as being a strong proponent of restrictions on the use of abortion and wanting to promote a culture that respects life.  And when it comes to the many other issues facing our nation, I am willing to trust the judgement of this otherwise conservative leader.

And in many ways, Condoleeza Rice transcends politics.  She is more of a policy person than a political one.  As such, I trust in her willingness to make political decisions that are driven by the best polices for our nation as opposed to policy decisions driven by the purpose of persoanl political pursuits.   If pressed,  I would equate Rice to another former Republican President —— President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower was more leader than politician.  He was more public policy than partisan politics and he was more concerned with the plight our nation’s economy and security than the cause of partisan pandering.   Such is the case with Condi Rice.

Such thinking may not please fellow Republican activists such as myslef but I am confident that making the best choices for our nation, also makes for the best positioning of our Party and Condoleezza Rice would make the right decisions for both.

But my sentimens do not change the reality of politics and unless Mitt Romney is willing to risk the support of the evangelical base that is already leerie of his conservtive convictions and committment to the right to life, Condoleezza Rice is not likely to make his final cut for Vice President.  Between that and a Romney based fear that Barack Obama’s campaign will be able to use Rice’s leadership concerning the war in Iraq as a way to link the G.O.P. ticket to former President Bush and thereby create a distraction  from the realissues in this election, will most likely doom Rice’s chances of being on the ticket.

Pros:

  • Condi Rice is one of those rare well known public fugures who if  placed on the ticket, would probably be the one persona that the G.O.P. could  nominate without offending a large portion of the left.
  • Her breadth of experience in foreign affairs would make the Obama Adminstration’s foreign and national security teams seem like high schools kids taking a summer course in history.  Rice would be an an incredible force for Romney on such issues and could enable them to articulate the many weaknesses in that Obama policies have created for our nation throughout the world.
  • Has history of bipartisanship that can appeal to independent voters

Cons:

  • Has a pro-choice stance which could undermine Romney among the Republican base
  • Her ties to the Bush Adminstration will be exploited by the Obama campaign in an attempt to distract voters away from the Obama record 

Assessment:

Despite my high regard for the former Secretary of State and regardless of my positive impression of the prospects of a Vice President Rice, my sentimens do not change the reality of politics and unless Mitt Romney is willing to risk the support of the evangelical base that is already leerie of his conservtive convictions and committment to the right to life, Condoleezza Rice is not initially likely to make his final cut for Vice President.

Between that and a Romney based fear that Barack Obama’s campaign will be able to use Rice’s leadership concerning the war in Iraq as a way to link the G.O.P. ticket to former President Bush and thereby create a distraction  from the real issues in this election, Rice’s chances of being on the ticket may be doomed.

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Rice on the Issues

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6 Responses

  1. Condi would be excellent. Do you really believe the evangelical right would NOT support Romney simply because Condi is pro choice? Who would they support: Obama?

  2. I think she would make an excellent choice. She would have my vote and I would prefer her ovee Romney!

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