February 23, 2008

Condoleezza Rice doesn't "see" herself as running for Vice President.

She doesn't "expect" to be a part of the campaign. So then, she's willing to do it. The real question is: Would it be a good move for McCain? Does it depend on whether Obama picks a woman for his VP nominee?

28 comments:

rhhardin said...

We haven't had a piano player in the White House since Nixon.

Publius said...

I believe the GOP convention is held ahead of the Dems this year, so McCain will have to pick his VP choice first.

John Althouse Cohen said...

She has some clear plusses. All other things being equal, it would help McCain to have a black running mate.

These are the big questions I can see:

(1) He's based his campaign on drawing a big distinction between himself and the execution of the Iraq war for the majority of the time it's been going on. He supported the decision to invade, and he supported the surge, but he needs to really distance himself from everything in between those two things so that he's not dragged down by the public's negative views about the war. Given the precarious position he's gotten himself into, why would he choose someone who's been one of Bush's top foreign policy advisers for his whole two terms?

(2) She's not technically a politician. The counters to that are: (a) she's good on TV, (b) she's presumably an excellent diplomat, and (c) come on, the Secretary of State does have to be political, so she really is a politician. Anyway, would the skills/experience she does have translate well to the campaign trail?

Bob said...

I think that since Obama has been campaigning as the whitest black guy in history, he'll stick to that tendency and pick a white guy as his running mate. He doesn't dare do anything that will emphasize blackness to his white supporters; he may offend a few of his black supporters by doing this, but what are they going to do, vote for a Republican instead?

McCain will pick one of his Senate buddies for his running mate, probabably a RINO like Lindsay Graham of SC.

Middle Class Guy said...

This was floated around as a rumor about two weeks ago in my local paper. Her main draw back is her being part of the Bush administration. The deocrats would viciously use that against McCain.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

The RNC is after the DNC -- the incumbent party goes last.

Traditionally it's a July-August thing, I think, but the DNC is later this year to avoid conflicts with the Olympics. And so is the RNC -- September, now.

I think there's some gamesmanship about timing, because of the idea of the convention bounce in the polls.

I hope he picks Condi, but yes, there's that whole Bush ties thing.

But she's likable enough anyway, right?

Palladian said...

It would be suicidal for McCain to pick Condoleezza Rice as his running mate.

George said...

It would be great.

Doing so would peel some black voters away from Obama.

It would shore up McCain with hawks. Dems are going to attack McCain anyway for being a warmonger.

And it would inoculate him against all charges of racism, while Rice gets to attack the other African-American candidate.

peter hoh said...

If he's leaning this way, he ought to do it soon, so he doesn't appear to be reacting to what the Democrats do.

I still think that Mark Sanford is the best VP pick.

Balfegor said...

Would it be a good move for McCain? Does it depend on whether Obama picks a woman for his VP nominee?

Like Clinton and unlike Obama, I think she has the disadvantage of actually having been a significant political player. When she first came onto the scene, people reacted to her with great enthusiasm -- she's clearly brilliant (an actual child prodigy), her biography is inspiring (personal connection with famous instances of racism during the Civil Rights movement), and hey! She's African American and a woman! Look at us, how not-racist we are!

But she's been a player in national politics now for 7 years, and people no longer react to her with that initial enthusiasm. Instead, what she's actually done dominates peoples' perceptions. And people -- both on the Left and on the Right -- have largely found her something of a disappointment. She's become an ordinary political figure.

She's where Obama will be four years out, if he's elected. When the newness has worn off, and people get a taste of his actual abilities. The Black/Woman thing is probably not much of a boost for her in national politics anymore.

Bissage said...

ED CONCANNON: [sternly] I'm going to tell you how you handle the fact that he's black. You don't touch it. You don't mention it. You treat him like anybody else. Neither better or worse. [smiles] And you get a black lawyer to sit at our table. Okay...?

YOUNG ATTORNEY: Yessir.

(“The Verdict” 1982)

downtownlad said...

Doing so would peel some black voters away from Obama.

Name one.

Trooper York said...

Condoleezza Rice's mother.

downtownlad said...

Wrong. I'm sure her mother is already voting Republican.

Try again.

Synova said...

Why do you think so, Palladin?

Yes, she's associated with the Bush administration but the people that *won't* vote for her... there is no way they'd vote for McCain anyhow. Right? So take people who would vote for McCain, at least potentially, why would they not vote for a ticket with Condi on it?

A whole lot of people wanted her to run for President. She doesn't have to disassociate with Bush, she simply has to say some good stuff about serving and trying to solve problems rather than trying to undermine and gain political points at the expense of real-world situations and real-world people.

And she *hasn't* been in the political spotlight for a few years now. Balfegor says people don't have the same enthusiasm as they did... so, she's been *working*. That's going to appeal to those who, ya know, work for a living.

Yes, there's a certain element of arm waving, "Hey, look how not-racist we are," and I have to admit I like that part. I've been told by liberals (when people were talking about her as president) that there is no way Republicans would vote for a black woman and now there is all this moronic stupidity among Democrats about how they should vote for Hillary or Obama BECAUSE they are female or black and that's accompanied by occasional candid remarks about the racism of the Democratic party and this active fantasy-life a whole lot of Democrats are engaged in about anyone on the right *caring* that Obama is black (or Hillary is female) rather than caring that he's dangerously naive (if inspirational). Add the very exciting (breathless!) possibility that he might be assassinated (I'm rolling my eyes here, okay, gonna sprain them if I'm not careful) and it's quite clear who is yearning for the romance and vitality of the bad old days.

NO ONE CARES about race in the Republican party (though I have met real people that care Obama's middle name is Hussein and many more who care he won't put his hand on his heart or respect the flag) and it would be nice to rub Democrats noses in their own racism.

A big part of what maintains the level of racial animosity that we've got is the pathological need for Democrats to maintain the fiction that Republicans are *racist* rather than less collectivist... that it's not a political difference in how problems should be approached but *racism* and *sexism* that explains a dislike for socialism-lite or welfare or whatever...

And I suppose it's *easier* than explaining and supporting policies to simply say that the other side hates people... even if you have to invent the notion of *cryptic* racism to explain the lack of expressed racism.

It's lazy. I'm tired of it. And I would LOVE for the Republicans to actually elect a black or female to President or Vice-president before the Democrats do, because no one will doubt she's actually qualified for the job.

I mean... half a Senate term?

Egad.

Stephen said...

Because of his age, McCain must pick someone that everyone will perceive is ready to be president, someone with executive experience like Giuliani. Jeb Bush would be perfect, a popular ex-governor who could bring along his large state, but something about Jeb just doesn't sit right with the public and I wonder what that could be.

Cedarford said...

Palladian is right. Rice would be Republican suicide from Day 1.

1. Other than Rumsfeld, no one is as closely associated with Bush's failed foreign policy as his #1 Policy Advisor, then failed Secretary of State, Condi.
Her being selected as VP would be seen by all as John McCain committing to "4 More Years of Bush! No changes!".

2. Some dumb conservatives actually believe that you autmatically neutralize the appeal of Democrats to minorities and women by running "one of them" yourself, like Allan Keyes for affirmative action electoral bonus points. Which is always a disaster. Rice in the race means 95% of blacks vote for the Democrat, not 96%.
It is absolutely pointless to run a black candidate if no blacks vote for your party.

********************
Nor do I wish to see that lying effete weasel Lindsay Graham as a VP pick. Not someone now so despised in S Carolina that he is this season's Edwards - unlikely to survive a primary challenge.
***********************
McCain and the nation don't need Republicans playing AA identity politics...where the ideal Republican VP is held to be a crippled lesbian black women of the Muslim Faith ...with a Hispanic grandmother and inspiring back story of "overcoming" childhood disease, tragedy, rape in a POW camp and having at least one parent who was a sharecropper or "poor mill worker".

No, Republicans just need a competent, experienced leader without McCain's rep for treachery against conservatives - ready to replace 72-year old McCain. Sanford would be a great pick. Duncan Hunter. Maybe Kay Bailey Hutchinson as a stretch..Lure over a small "d" democrat like General Anthony Zinni.

McCain might help himself if he offers as part of the ticket to make Mitt Romney America's fully empowered Cabinet-Level Energy/Fiscal Mess & Entitlements/ or Health Care Czar with McCains full unconditional backing. Romney tasked to create a coherent and successful bipartisan national program and policy working with Democrats, in the 1st 18 months of a McCain Administration.
He could also do well if he says on top of Romney, he would have Fred Thompson come in as Czar to a national crisis Romney doesn't take up ...as long as Fred agrees to drink 2 cans of Red Bull in the morning, 3 in the afternoon, every day Fred works in the McCain Administration.

Synova said...

"It is absolutely pointless to run a black candidate if no blacks vote for your party."

You just can't live in a world where white people vote for black people.

Too bad.

Synova said...

Which is what we're seeing among Democrats, actually.

Black people are supposed to vote race.

Women are supposed to vote sex.

Race or sex is not a reason to vote for a ticket with Condoleezza Rice on it. It does not present a *positive* pull to that ticket. It should be neutral. Female/black shouldn't matter at all. What it does is spike the Democratic self-righteousness. Vote Obama *because* he's black? Vote for a candidate *because* she's female? (Or because *I* am!)

Obama refusing to put his hand on his heart is a bigger obstacle to the right than his color.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Palladian. Condi is too intimately tied to the failures in Iraq and Bush. In addition, her stewardship of the State Dept has not been stellar.

Simon said...

I join JAC's comment, especially point 1. It's a serious problem that whatever her actual role in the execution of the Iraq war, she's associated with it, and politics is about perception not fact. One can rattle off any number of better alternatives - Steele, Pawlenty, Palin, Sandford, etc.

Paddy O. said...

"In all my years of interviewing, I have never been prouder to spell my name w-o-m-a-n than after spending time with Condoleezza Rice." — Oprah

Listen to the interview and see if there's maybe something to a Rice VP pick besides just her experience.

Her resume makes her almost the perfect candidate really, though her ties to Bush might not be a great help these days. If she were to find her own voice in a campaign, rather than be tied to Bush policy, she could be a very, very strong addition and would totally sway those voters who think that Obama is good just because it's a historical moment, but are cautious about his experience.

Palladian said...

The reasons I think the choice of Rice to be McCain's VP running mate would be suicidal have been stated by several commenters here. She's far too closely associated with the Bush administration and the assorted incompetences connoted by such association. She's not a very effective politician, ie she's handicapped by being an actually intelligent person. She doesn't seem "warm", a political quality sadly required since at least 1920.

Add to these the fact that she's a she. As much as I hate to say it, McCain isn't strong enough to take his chances with a female VP running mate. I say all these things as someone who admires Condoleezza Rice (in fact, she's the only person in the Bush administration that I like). But she has far too many negatives to be an effective VP candidate to a Presidential candidate with a surfeit of negatives of his own.

Simon said...

Palladian said...
"She doesn't seem 'warm', a political quality sadly required since at least 1920."

Not without exception, though - e.g. Cheney.

Paddy O. said...

When she was on Oprah's show she did seem very personable. I think she is very professional and acts according to her role. Her role has been to be someone who carries out the Bush foreign policy and that has kept her a little aloof.

But I think if put into a situation where charm was important she would pull that off as well as she pulls off other tasks in her life. I would almost guarantee she would out-think, out-policy, out-class, and out-charm anyone Obama picks. And even with her connection to the Bush White House I'll bet she would be too smart for any opponent to use that against her. No one who would be picked would be sharp enough to get at her weaknesses in a face to face.

And, it's also the case that she can in fact be a little too warm.

Balfegor said...

Not without exception, though - e.g. Cheney.

Or, uh, Nixon. "Well, did you do any fornication this weekend?" The elder Bush comes off as unusually warm and personable in his letters and personal dealings, but as far as public personas go, wasn't his a bit aloof and cold? At least while he was in office. "Message: I care" and all that.

Paul said...

RICE is the only running mate MCCAIN has a chance to win with in my opinion. Hell, she is more experienced to be president "on day one" than Obama or Clinton.

Paul said...

Let me be frank, I am 41 year old white male and a strong MCCAIN supporter. I think the republicans don't have a chance to beat the momentum of the democrats "first time thing," unless RICE is on the ticket.
RICE is an ideal running mate. She has a great grasp of the issues and a great ability to articulate the arguments. Hell, she kicks but in all those congressional hearings she endures. RICE is more qualifed to be president "on day one' than Clinton or Obama. Also, to be completely honest; I don't think the republicans will have a chance, this particular election, if they put forth the same old two white man ticket ... Not against the momentum of "this first time thing" the democrats got going for them. I sure and the hell hope she ends up on the ticket and I hope she ends up being the first woman and the first african american president elected in the United States.