Condoleezza Rice for Vice President?
In the last several days, the name of Condoleezza Rice as the Vice Presidential candidate has percolated to the top of the list of potentials. Rice, the former Secretary of State for George W. Bush, has many talents that recommend her to Governor Mitt Romney.
First and foremost, she is a brilliant scholar and practitioner of real world American Power. As National Security Adviser and Secretary for President Bush, Rice pioneered the policy of Transformational Diplomacy, with a focus on democracy in the Greater Middle East. It inaugurated a new phase in American foreign policy in which we began to encourage democratically elected governments rather that support authoritarian regimes.
Rice was the second African-American Secretary of State, following Colin Powell. She was the second woman and the first African American woman to serve in that position. She was also the first woman to serve as the National Security Adviser. As a pioneer in so many roles, why not not the first woman Vice President?
On several occasions, Rice has adamantly stated that she was not interested in the position but there are many reasons why she would be a perfect fit. As a foreign policy expert, Rice is the only potential VP candidate with real world foreign policy. We all know that the Obama campaign will attack the Romney team for their lack of experience in this area. Marco Rubio, another favorite, serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but there’s no substitute for practical experience in the dangerous world that we live in.
Rice’s speech at a Romney donor retreat in June in Park City, Utah. Discussing the speech during an interview later in the month, Rice told CBS News that she believed it resonated because of her discussion of the American spirit.
“I talked about the need for American leadership; I talked about the importance of the United States to a more peaceful world, a world that has been quite turbulent in recent years and needs a strong American anchor. But I also talked about the essence of America, and perhaps that’s what people resonated with.”
As all good potential Vice Presidential candidates, Rice downplayed speculation that she would be the pick. She went as far as saying to Charlie Rose on ABCs Good Morning America, “It’s not going to happen — and no.”
And yet, when you compare her qualifications to those of other potential candidates, Rice continues to exhibit strengths that Romney needs. Let’s face it, good or bad, her name recognition is at the top of the charts. She’s a good public speaker with a wonderful personality. She’s a quick study and has a Ph.D. in political science from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her dissertation centered on military policy and politics in what was then the communist state of Czechoslovakia.
She’s one of the most recognizable woman in the world, even after three and a half years of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Finally, Condi Rice has an unbelievable backstory. She is the descendant of Alabama slaves who were sharecroppers after emancipation. Both of her parents were teachers; her mother in high school, her father in high school and at the University of Denver.
As an African American, Rice will change the Democrat narrative from its current position that the Republican Party is filled with elitist, white people. Can you imagine how Joe Biden would debate her on that subject?
Asked why she became a Republican, Condoleezza Rice has a fairly simple explanation. s she told the 2000 Republican National Convention, “My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did.”
If this election is about American exceptionalism, then Condoleezza Rice or Marco Rubio should be our candidate for the Vice Presidency.