Condi Rice for VP ?

What are the chances of this? It is likely that Cheney won’t be on the ticket for 2004. I am not sure who the other Republican front-runners are ; probably no one stands out considering Cheney’s pick last time round.
The advantages of Rice are obvious:

  1. She is a woman and a black; two groups where the GOP has a lot of room for improvement. If she could ,say, increase the black GOP vote from 10% to about 30% that would be a solid boost for the ticket.

2)She has solid national experience. With 4 years as NSA she will be as experienced as most other GOP contenders. She does quite well on TV, certainly better than Bush.

3)GOP hardliners don’t dislike her (at least not yet). This is one big advantage she has over Powell.

4)She has a good relationship with Bush: Hugely important with the Bushies and another possible advantage over Powell.

5)She probably would take the job: Another advantage over Powell who may well not want a VP position. From her point of view, 4 years as VP would be the perfect springboard for a possible Presidential bid.

What do you think? Of course there is a still a long way to go. But I wouldn’t be at all be surprised if Rice not only gives a boost to a flagging Bush campaign in 2004 but becomes a leading contender for the top job in 2008.

If Cheney is forced to resign because of Halliburton she may get the job even earlier.

Dubya will never let her on the ticket. His daddy at least had the sense to pick someone who provided a disincentive to assassins.

I wouldn’t vote for her.

Ask for her and you immediately ask for an ineptly directed and possibly embarassing public Congressional hearing on whether or not she was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. That one got swept under the rug during all the aftermath’s hugging and kissing, but now that the fuzz is wearing off the questions remain.

This one is news to me. There is probably a fair amount of blame to be spread around for 9-11 particularly at the FBI and CIA but I haven’t heard anything about Rice being particularly to blame.

I’ve been championing Rice for VP for a while. She’s exactly what the Republican party leads right now. A strong, level-headed female presence in the White House. And it certainly helps that she’s Black. Not just for crass political reasons, but it’s also good for the country. I’ve always thought that just as only Nixon could go to China, the Republicans are the only ones who will be able to actually elect a female president or a black president. Condi Rice looks like the only female Republican candidate for that job on the horizon.

I agree with you for the most part here, but keep in mind Geraldine Ferraro helped Mondale little among women. Similarly, I’m not sure how many blacks would go to the GOP simply for Rice.

Also true, but this doesn’t necessarily make her a good candidate. Being a candidate for any major office is tough work. Just last year in Maine the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court decided to run for governor as a Republican. The state GOP was elated, thinking this intelligent, urbane guy was going to beat the strong Dem candidate. However, despite all of his qualifications, he was an awful candidate, didn’t have the stomach for it and dropped out in a month.

Well, we’ve got one GOP hardliner here saying she dislikes Rice. Rice says she’s pro-choice, a death wish for a GOP candidate for president. She’s also unmarried. This has started some rumors that she’s a lesbian, most likely without any basis, but the Republicans love the family values candidates, and single people don’t convey that well. Plus, the right is more likely than the left to have latent racism, which could also work against Rice.

Also true, he’s a man that values loyalty. However, this leads him to pick non-ambitious people to work under him. Look at his big 4 cabinet members: Powell, Rumsfeld, O’Neill and Ashcroft. Mostly guys who won’t have any elected office in their future. I’m not sure how much Rice wants to be president in 2008, but if she does it makes her less likely to be the VP candidate.

Gotta cite for this one? The most I’ve read says she either wants to be NSA Chief or NFL Commissioner, nothing about president. Also, this could be a negative for her.

IMHO, Bush probably won’t dump Cheney. Casting ideology aside, Cheney’s done an OK job so far. Haliburton doesn’t seem to be damaging him yet either. Right now the most likely reason for him being dumped would be his health.

If Cheney is dumped, and I’ve said this before, Bush’ll pick an elder statesman within the party i.e. John Danforth or Connie Mack because he’ll want a loyal VP, not someone too ambitious. It’s a good idea in retrospect. If Bill Clinton had taken a guy like Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate, in 2000 he’d be able to pick a candidate to succeed him with the best campaign skills, which wouldn’t be Al Gore by a longshot. I think Bush has the right idea with picking an elder statesman VP.

"Similarly, I’m not sure how many blacks would go to the GOP simply for Rice. "
Well it’s all conjecture of course, but I am thinking about middle-class blacks who are perhaps socially conservative but put off by the image of the GOP as a white man’s club. I think a Rice nomination could make a big difference with such voters. Remember I am not talking about a huge switch but perhaps a 30% vote which would translate to about 1-2% boost nationwide, a solid base-hit.

“She’s also unmarried”
Yes, I am also curious about what effect that might have. Of course American politics is heavily family-oriented but perhaps for a woman running for VP or President, it might even be an asset to not have a husband and kids. I don’t know.

“the right is more likely than the left to have latent racism, which could also work against Rice.”
Maybe but don’t forget that Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas are now bona-fide conservative heroes.

“I’m not sure how much Rice wants to be president in 2008, but if she does it makes her less likely to be the VP candidate.”
Well it’s true that one of the reasons Bush picked Cheney was his lack of Presidential ambitions but that would probably be less important in a second term. He would probably be most interested in the candidate who can help him win the election and worry less about what he/she does during the second term. Plus he might want someone who can win in 2008 to continue his “legacy”.

I admit I don’t have any cite for Rice’s presidential ambitions ; she just appears to be a highly ambitious person to me.

As for Cheney, I think it is the conventional wisdom that his health and now his business troubles make him unlikely for 2004.

You might be right about the “elder statesmen” strategy. I think it will depend on how well Bush is doing at the polls. If he is doing well he may well play it safe. If he is behind or running even, I think he will need someone who will enthuse the media and the general public and produce a big buzz at the convention. IMO Rice would be perfect.

The smart thing for the Democrats to do should she go for VP would be to run a black and/or female candidate against her. Neither side has to worry about their racist and/or misogynistic members switching sides because of it. Probably just have a lower voter turnout, and maybe more third party votes.

Well the problem for the Dems would be that there aren’t too many Dem blacks or women who are of the same stature as Rice. Certainly no black woman.

Of course there is Hillary but she would be poison to the crucial Southern white male vote which the Dems desparately need. Rice’s advantage is that she would appeal to swing voters whereas most prominent Democratic blacks and women are on the liberal wing of the party.

The thing with Cheney is that he is this bland character who basically speaks when spoken to and is very laconic in his conversation (when you see him at all) - a grey man, the classic prime minister. W looks better standing next to Cheney than he does standing next to Rice, who is obviously vastly more literate, articulate, and knowledgeable than the President.

I don’t recall that her business dealings have ever been too closely examined by the public either, as a Soviet specialist and Chevron director. What sort of investments and strategic decisions did she make during the collapse and reformation of Russia, who sought her expert advice etc? There’s probably a few skeletons in that closet.

Me neither. Just generally to blame, as the head of an agency which failed, along with other agencies, to provide intelligence preventing the attacks.

At this point, she’s quite competent in government, but I think a little over her head in the world of politics. Of course, she could still compare favorably with Bush. I think it’s more likely she’ll get some other post, to give her more experience in the second term.

Then, it 2008, she’ll be named candidate for VP. By then, more of the anti-black vote will have died off, and I suspect the abortion issue will be slightly less prominent than it is now. Of course, there will be increased pressure for her to be married, but perhaps by then she’ll find the right man, or at least a trophy husband, or go to Vermont for a civil union. Oh wait, scratch that last.

With a little luck, she’ll lose, despite boosting the ticket. That could give her the credentials for an uphill battle for the GOP nomination in 2012.

But I agree with CyberPundit that she’ll provide a marginal boost to the ticket whatever year she is chosen to run.

What other, if any, offices has she held through election? Sure, she’s smart, but so was Woodrow Wilson, Henry Kissinger, and the Brain Trust surrounding Kennedy. All these fellows started at the top in public service, and then initiated policies that failed because they didn’t understand that these policies can’t just sound good over one conference table, but rather over millions of kitchen tables.

I think the ‘anti-black vote’ is a fiction. There are just as many Southern Democrats who are racist as their are Southern Republicans who are racist.

But here’s why I think Condi would be a good choice, and why only the Republicans could elect a black female as President (or even have one on the ticket as VP):

In today’s political scene, each party has its faithful - about 30% of the people would vote Republican even if they fielded Kodos for a candidate. 30% of Democrats would vote for Kang if he were a Democrat.

The key to presidential victory is to grab more of the 40% in the middle than your opponent does. Now, consider a black or a female candidate - if the Democrats run such a candidate, just what Republican moderate constituency would they win over? No one. But if the Republicans do it, they have a change of picking up moderate black and female Democrats. They can also pick up some ‘single-issue’ people who vote Democratic simply because of women’s issues or African-American issues. It’s all about positioning yourself against the electorate.

But I agree that Condi is still a longshot - traditionally, the President picks a VP candidate that can shore up support in key swing states. Look for a popular southern governor or someone like that if Cheney steps down.

But speaking of that… Barring a new, major scandal or a serious health problem, I just don’t see Cheney stepping down. He’s in his element right now, helping to run a wartime presidency.

“But I agree that Condi is still a longshot - traditionally, the President picks a VP candidate that can shore up support in key swing states”
IMO on purely electoral grounds Rice is better than almost any other candidate I can think of. I think a 5% nationwide boost from middle-class blacks and “soccer moms” is quite realistic which could easily translate into half a dozen swing states. I can’t think of any governor/senator who could plausibly help deliver that many. Plus there is the intangible factor of “buzz” from the media from the nomination of black woman. Even the Lieberman nomination as the first Jewish candidate ,much less historic, created a fair amount of useful buzz for Gore.

As for traditional VP picks AFAIK the last four GOP picks, Bush sr., Quale,Kemp and Cheney don’t really fall in the swing-state category.

However after reading that Rice was openly pro-choice ( I didn’t know that) I suspect that she is indeed a long shot. It would be hard to get that past the Religious Right.

The other factor in electoral politics is the ability to ‘mobilize your base’. Sure, you’ll get that 30-40% to vote for you no matter who you pick for a running mate, but can you get them out to canvas for you? Can you get them to put placards on their lawns and bumper stickers on their cars? Can you get them to give you money? Mobilizing your base is very important. It’s unclear to me how Rice helps in that regard.

This could change. First, there are prominent blacks within the party, Franklin Raines, former head of Fannie Mae, as well as the guy who founded BET and is now a billionaire were both mentioned as possible Gore running mates. If Ron Kirk or Carl McCall win in 2002 they’ll make every short list. They have even more women: Jeanne Shaheen, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Diane Feinstein are all plausible. Once again, 2002 could help rising stars like Janet Napolitano and Jennifer Granholm if they win their big races. I will admit none has the stature of Rice, but there are viable Dem VP candidates who are black or female. Black and female’s another story though, I can’t think of any above the House of Representatives, and few there are moderate enough to become much of anything.

Wait, which party do Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond belong to? The racist Southern Democrats probably don’t vote for Dems above state rep or state senate. In the South, Gore got less than 40 percent of the white vote, I think that that amount is limited to Northern transplants, liberals and a fair share of moderates. Those racist blue dog dems are way outnumbered by their Republican counterparts.

Hmmm, popular Southern governor. Well, the only popular GOP southern governors right now are Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Mike Foster of Louisiana and Frank Keating of Oklahoma. Huckabee’s probably too conservative, Foster’s old and has KKK ties, but Keating’s an interesting option. He’s a former FBI agent and he was recently put in charge of the task force to clean up the church. If he does a good job there…

“Mobilizing your base is very important. It’s unclear to me how Rice helps in that regard.”
Well there is always a trade-off. It’s going to be awfully hard for the GOP to pick someone who appeals to both their base and the swing voters. IMO it’s more important to pick someone who appeals to swing voters so long as that person doesn’t really piss off your base. (of course there is always a question mark about any pro-choice candidate in this regard).

One reason is that the VP is part of the public face of the ticket and matters a lot to uncommited voters while there are other better ways of paying off your base: through a series of quiet policy decisions and appointments of the kind which swing voters likely don’t care or even know about. So in essence you allocate your scarce political resources to where they will get the highest return: ie. highly public campaign moves (like VP picks) for the swing-votes and quiet deals for your insider base.

Finally there is talk of not repeating the mistakes of 92 where Bush supposedly alienated his hardcore voters. What is forgotten is that that resulted in 8 years in Clinton and almost another four years of Gore which GOP hardliners hated. I don’t think the GOP base will have forgotten that by 2004. Beside Bush and Rove have been careful to keep the hardliners reasonably happy so by 2004 they may well be ready to give Bush some leeway over his VP pick.

Anyway like BKB says the Southern Governor list isn’t exactly that enticing for Bush. The best appears to Keating and his state isn’t swing.

Bush didn’t gain any extra support from women or middle-class blacks because of Condi (or Powell, for that matter) this time around, so what makes you think it’ll be any different in 2004?

It takes more than a brown face on the ticket to make black people get excited. And middle-class blacks still vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

I admire Rice a lot. She’s very smart and knowledgable. She’s disciplined, high-achieving person. It would be good for the Republican Party and for America to have an African-American VP. I would trust her as President.

I’d love to see her get the nomination, but I do not expect it to happen, because

– Chaney will be nominated again. He’s an outstanding VP.

–She’s not married. Don’t ask me why that should be important, but it seems to be.

–She has not had experience in any sort of real management position or government leadership position.

– She may not be a effective campaigner. One would have to take her political skills on faith, since she has never run for elective office. (OTOH I think Bush will win easily, regardless of VP, because he’s popular and the Democrats do not have a strong candidate at this time.)