Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Condi '08 - A Dissenting View

Carpe Bonum takes issue with the notion of Condi as the Republican candidate for 2008. He also references this longer anti-Condi article by Steven Warshawski in The American Thinker (anti-Condi as a candidate; everyone seems to love the job she's doing - at least on the right side of the aisle). My thoughts have been laid out in detail, but I want to deal briefly with a couple of the objections presented.

One objection to a Condi candidacy is that she has never run for elective office before, and you just don't start at the top (Craig at Carpe Bonum points out the exceptions that prove the rule). I don't find this argument very persuasive - certainly Condi has held major executive-level positions, despite Warshawski's dismissal of her credentials as unpresidential. I will grant the dissenters, though, that it's hard to gauge how well an untested candidate would handle the grueling primary and campaign seasons.

Warshawski also presents a demographic argument - she's black, and a woman, with no obvious constituency. I suppose that perhaps I am guilty of too-hopeful expectations in assuming that these matters would not be crippling. Certainly, they shouldn't be - but we live in the world that is, not the world that should be.

Here's the bigger issue that troubles me, though. All of the obvious candidates with national recognition at this time (granting that the ground will shift in the next three years) are going to have problems if we as Republicans don't live up to our big tent rhetoric. Giuliani and McCain are going to face opposition on social issues; Condi has the aforementioned problems; Jeb is going to face opposition on the sheer fact that he's another Bush. At this point, one is tempted to root for one of the more acceptable dark horses like Mark Sanford just to avoid what looks to be a brutal primary season.

We'll have much more on these issues in the months ahead.