July 10, 2006

The Condi for President trend.

ABC News reports:
A disparate group of Internet gurus, political junkies and foes of Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is pushing a Rice candidacy even though President Bush's top diplomat has said repeatedly that she has no desire to be president.

But the Republican also has declined invitations to rule out a bid in 2008, spoken about the likelihood of a minority winning the White House in her lifetime and taken steps to soften her image words and deeds that have provided a glimmer of hope to her fans.

Mick Wright, a webmaster in Memphis, Tenn., is one of more than a dozen people who registered draft-Rice Web sites in the year after Bush was re-elected.

"Once that was all over, you started thinking, what's going to happen in the next election?" said Wright, a co-founder of http://www.condipundit.com. "The first one to come to mind as a viable candidate was Condoleezza Rice."
(I made that a hot link. In a classic demonstration of MSM obtuseness, ABC didn't.)

More in the article. I'll just note this part, about whether Rice is planning to run:
Greg Haas, an Ohio-based Democratic strategist, said Rice's image makeover is a telltale sign.

"The fact of the matter is when you see somebody revolutionize their style, their appearance and their speaking manner, that is not happening all by itself," said Haas, who ran Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign in Ohio. "She has clearly begun presenting a different image, moving from a harsh persona to one of a more warm public official."

Rice has showcased her talents as a pianist at the Kennedy Center, lifted weights for a local Washington TV news show and discussed her musical favorites, from Elton John to Aretha Franklin to Mozart, for a British newspaper. The latter was a favor to rock star Bono.
Run, Condi!

30 comments:

amba said...

Yes, do!

Barry "iPod" Johnson said...

And join Blogs for Condi...

http://condoleezza.blogspot.com/

charlotte said...

"Run, Condi!"

That's too funny! Which way do you mean?

As a Repub, I'd vote for her, although some conservatives grumble she's too centrist and insufficiently doctrinaire. Would love an insider's POV on how she has taken the helm at State, however, to gain more insight into her exercise of authority and will to reform.

Fer sure, she'd make a viable VP candidate.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I wonder who would serve her in the White House as First Dude?

Doug said...

I like Condi. I think she's been a great Secretary of State, but I have no basis whatsoever for knowing whether or not she'd be a good President.

Where does she stand on domestic issues ? Supreme Court appointments ? Does she approve of the out-of-control spending we've seen out of Washington the last 6 years ?

Until I know the answer to these questions, I can't even begin to think seriously about voting for her. And neither should anyone else

Tom C said...

If John Kerry and Al Gore and Hillary and every other "awful" liberal on earth ran together on a ticket I'd still be voting Democratic, no matter who's running on the Republican side. Until we see evidence that one-party rule can be trusted with our liberties and budget, it's split government time for me.

Buddy Larsen said...

She's a lioness--to take over State Dep't--and it's smoke-filled mirrored hallways of double-dealing careerist backstabbers--is one thing, but to try to knit American foreign policy in this age, well, say this for her, she's got heart, and she loves her country. In a way, everything else is secondary.

Mark Daniels said...

I'd be interested in knowing when this new image to which Haas refers in the article began. The only difference I've seen in Rice's image is that she hasn't been as visible as she was a few months ago.

Buddy Larsen said...

Ha, yes--"In a bid to raise his popularity, FDR wins WWII".

charlotte said...

Buddy,

Did you say "knit" foreign policy? I almost used "housecleaning at State"--!

Sec. Rice has been stalwart and valiant and brave, etc. in walking the international relations/ policy tightrope. But look at how the experienced and uber determined Bush has been dragged down by insider treachery. I would hope but wonder whether Condi is sufficiently experienced and networked to weather such, that's all.

BTW, do workers, even back-stabbing careerist ones, get away with smoking in the hallways, these days?

Buddy Larsen said...

Ha--'knit' as in repairing that frazzle'd sleeve of woe (or however that old Shakespeare on 'sleep' line goes).

Smoke, no, you're right, but it has a certain visual effect that, say, "scheme and mirrors" just lacks.

I think she's got the makings, tho. I mean, just step back and look at her record--look at the obvious, but also look at the sustained drive for excellence in all her endeavors.

Also, if she wasn't adept at pulling together the right teams for the right projects, she'd never have made it into the upper reaches of national politics.

So, you could say, she's already answered the question of fundamental personal strengths.

charlotte said...

Buddy, you're prolly right. I'd vote for her, anyway.

Buddy Larsen said...

I mean, there are those who will disdain her as a race/gender/PC phenom, to which the answer is, aren't white men a race/gender/PC phenom?

Ron said...

Ruth Anne: If Condi played it just so, such that she had a splashy relationship (Dennis Haysbert? He's already been prez on "24!" Bono, if there were no Mrs. Bono) WHILE campaigning, just think of the free pub! Blow Pitt-Jolie right off the gossip pages!

It's got some juice to it!

Todd said...

This is a story because someone needed to fill some column inches. She has made absolutely no effort to lay the groundwork for an actual campaign. Every single one of the other potential '08 contenders on right (McCain, Romney, Frist, Brownback, Allen, Huckabee, Giuliani, Hagel, Tancredo) or left (Clinton, Warner, Bayh, Edwards, Feingold, Kerry, Biden, Vilsack, Clark) has a leadership or campaign PAC that person has been using as a vehicle to bankroll campaign cash and buy goodwill through gifts to state campaigns. At the very least, McCain, Romney, and Frist are likely to be very well funded contenders for the GOP nomination, and it will take a lot of money and time to be in the game with them. Condi hasn't done any of that; when she starts, I'll change my mind and think she does want to run.

Far more likely to me is that if she is thinking about electoral politics after Bush leaves office is that she's doing behind the scenes work ingratiating herself with some of the prospective candidates, so she's an even more viable VP choice.

Kate said...

I'd vote for Condi in a heartbeat!

DaveG said...

Until we see evidence that one-party rule can be trusted with our liberties and budget, it's split government time for me.

Agreed, but I'd wish more for the split to occur in Congress, where the primary focus is not (or shouldn't be, IMHO) on foreign policy.

charlotte said...

She has made absolutely no effort to lay the groundwork for an actual campaign

Todd, there's always instant Rice!

The ABC article obliquely referenced the scenario in which Cheney vacates his office for health reasons, giving Bush the opportunity to appoint Condi VP in '06 or '07 to give her experience and to lay a credible foundation for her run at the top slot. I used to think this would happen, but am not sure, now. Strong conservative Repubs are in a testy mood and might openly revolt. Again.

Buddy Larsen said...

They have been quite revolting of late.

Jack Wayne said...

This is silly. How is Condi going to win the Solid South? Which is what it takes today for a Republican to win the presidency.

Another Old Navy Chief said...

Jack W: You're suffering from a sterotypical impression of the South. I'm certain that Ms Rice would do quite well in the South. Old souther white guys like me would be more than willing to vote for this daughter of the south, no matter what her race...

Buddy Larsen said...

I was born in Alabamy, raised up in Louisiany, and is now a Texan, and Condi has my vote, plus many many others hereabouts, of all ages, both parties, menfolk and womenfolk alike.

Abraham said...

Not to mention, that the South has a lot more blacks in it than the North does, a good portion of whom would (theoretically) be inclined to vote for a fellow black southerner.

Buddy Larsen said...

They's lotsa o that 'new paradigm' goin' around down hyar.

Bruce Hayden said...

Also, remember that Dr. Rice is originally from the South, before moving to Colorado. She has a decent Southern story, plus has made one of the strongest pro-2nd Amdt. statements.

Nevertheless, no matter how much I would love to see her run, I don't see it, unless Bush/Cheney jump start her campaign with an early Cheney retirement. Absent that, no.

amba said...

Buddy: "Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care . . . " Beautiful line!

McCain/Rice wouldn't be bad at all!

vw: klddlspn

charlotte said...

The '08 election season could be interesting, potentially with two women Presidential contenders. Each is strong, smart and ambitious, but one has grace to go with her grit, performs classical piano and loves football, and isn't a poll-driven political chameleon and socialist at heart. Condi would have strong appeal among southern voters, especially in a contest with Hillary. And her centrist views could be balanced by those of a more conservative running mate to make her somewhat acceptable to the ideologues on the right.

It would be sexist to bring up how Sec. Rice's elegant "power" boots and Chanel beat dowdy pastel pantsuits hands down, so I won't mention it.

Bruce Hayden said...

I actually think a VP slot is a lot more realistic. Something like Romney/Rice would probably work fairly well. She would bring the foreign affairs expertise, plus weaken any fundamentalist worries about his Mormonism. It would also be a nice balance geographically - she has southern, CO, and CA roots, while he has MA, MI, and UT roots.

I also see the two of them probably getting along fairly well. He shares a Harvard MBA with GWB (but it is combined with a JD from there too). So, Romney's management style is most likely similar to Bush's. They are also both very bright and articulate.

I don't see her getting along nearly as well with McCain. He lacks the discipline that Bush, Rice, and Romney appear to share, plus there is some bad blood between McCain and Bush, and Rice is extremely loyal to her boss - possibly the most loyal of any of his cabinet.

Simon said...

I have made this point repeatedly, but I would merely echo Doug's comment; unless there is some vast repository of information on Condi's view of the vast swathe of issues that appertain to the modern Presidency, which I have somehow missed, the people saying "I'd vote for her in a heartbeat" seem profoundly reckless. If you don't know what her views are on the issues, what on Earth are you premising that support on? Is your vote really so cheap that it can be bought by pure electoral expediency?

Chris said...

A couple of points. First to Todd's point about the contenders setting aside campaign money Right Now and exploratory committees. There are four who matter: Rudy, McCain, Romney, and Allen. Others, like Frist and Tancredo, don't. Rice can afford to wait until after midterms to get in this game, which is what she is doing. She understands that the rank and file are not terribly happy with the menu that is being offered right now, and in a world in which Allen has a dogfight on his hands in Virginia, Rice can afford to do appearances in the fall that look like campaign stops (such as the American Legion Convention in Salt Lake in August) but aren't. Understand that when she jumps in, the Pioneer money is going to her, and not to anybody else. Bush Senior will make sure of that.

Do not discount this woman. I suspect that things are happening that no one sees. When stories like this come out all of a sudden out of nowhere, I don't see them as sudden attempts to fill column inches. Press people at places like the WaPo pick up stuff, and don't publish pieces like this by accident.