Sunday, January 02, 2005

Candidate Profile Seven - Condoleezza Rice

A correspondent asked me recently why she couldn't find Condoleezza Rice listed as a potential 2008 candidate anywhere. My answer: I consider her such a strong choice I was saving her. Since you asked, however...

My fantasy matchup in 2008 would be Dr. Rice versus Senator Hillary Clinton, two very formidable women with two very different worldviews. The mere thought is enough to make me weak with anticipation. Is it a possibility? Stranger things have happened...

Dr. Condoleezza Rice - official biography

Rice 2008 - Unofficial campaign site

Resume - former Professor of Political Science, Stanford University; former Provost, Stanford University; fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; frequent member of boards of directors for major corporations; former Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council; former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; current National Security Advisor; Secretary of State-designee; pianist of considerable talent; named by Forbes magazine in August 2004 as the world's most powerful woman

Do you get the feeling after looking at that resume that you've wasted your life? Very impressive indeed...Rice is in many ways a dream candidate. She would present a very interesting problem for 'progressives': how to mount a coherent attack against a candidate who is an African-American woman. 'Uncle Tom' attacks will not win elections any more than Anybody But Bush did. Rice is no affirmative action hire, though; she is a woman of vast intelligence and great accomplishment who has been perhaps George W. Bush's closest confidant. That very fact, of course, would be used against her in any possible presidential bid.

Are there any other drawbacks to a Rice candidacy? She would face opposition from some voices in the black community. Witness this broadside from The Black Commentator, entitled 'Condoleezza Rice - The Devil's Handmaiden':
Condoleezza Rice is the purest expression of the race traitor. No polite description is possible.
Ahh, the gentle persuasion of the Radical Left. What was Rice's sin? She dared to work for an administration that felt maybe the time had come to end race-based preferences in college admissions.

As mentioned above, many would also feel Rice has been TOO close to Bush and his policies; whether that will be a liability depends in large part on what happens to Iraq between now and 2008. If democracy takes root and we have pulled a substantial number of troops out, Rice should be covered on that front.

Obviously, I am a big fan of this woman, but I'm not blind to the obstacles. The Republican field may be loaded with quality candidates: possibilities include McCain, Rudy G, another Bush boy by the name of Jeb, the largely unknown (on a national level) but appealing Mark Sanford, and many, many others. Inevitably, some fools would object to a woman, or an African-American, president. The bigotry of a few should not be allowed to dictate the Republican Party we want in the future, though. Nominating Condoleezza Rice makes sense on many levels; she could be the Hillary slayer, yes, but so much more. If Dr. Rice throws her hat in the ring, a LOT of those potential candidates mentioned earlier are going to be very, very nervous - and for good reason.


UPDATE 03/19/05 10:49 am central:
Condi has been hurt (a little) by recent developments - see here.


UPDATE 06/15/05 8:35 pm central: The Condi buzz has died down some...


UPDATE 07/24/2005 10:56 p.m.:

see here...

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