Black conservative Shelby Steele recently speculated with an interviewer from the American Enterprise, a conservative journal, about how a race between Hillary Clinton and Rice might turn out. "If Hillary runs against a man, my guess is there's a certain women's vote out there that will go for her, even many Republicans," he said. "But if she's running against Condoleezza Rice, that would disappear. A large bit of the black vote that Democrats are so desperately dependent upon would also disappear. If Condoleezza Rice ran, she could win by simply taking an extra 15 percent of the black vote."I hope we do.
But from my own anecdotal observation, Spike Lee speaks for a lot of African Americans who have strong negative feelings about Rice. If she runs, he told the New York Observer, "African Americans will have to really, really, really, really, really , REALLY analyze the secretary of state's record, and get past the pigmentation of her skin. . . . I'm not going to vote for that woman. No. Way. "
Steele acknowledges that he might be wrong, that Rice might turn out to be a lousy politician. Lee acknowledges that "I'm not the spokesperson for 45 million African Americans." The truth is that nobody knows how voters would respond to a black woman who loyally serves an administration so reviled in the black community.
And would those cheering, white 'Bama football fans check her name when they're in the privacy of the voting booth?
Nobody knows. But I'll bet that someday -- maybe not soon, but someday -- we'll find out.
March 17, 2006
"And would those cheering, white 'Bama football fans check her name when they're in the privacy of the voting booth?"
WaPo op-ed columnist Eugene Robinson contemplates Condoleezza Rice running for President: