Why pretend Condi Rice is a VP front runner?

What purpose does it serve the Romney campaign to pretend that Condi Rice is a front runner for the VP nod when it’s almost certain she won’t be? The Drudge report was buzzing yesterday with speculation that Condi was almost a sure bet with a main headline article. Knowing how the Drudge Report works, the news was probably a leak from somewhere in GOP land, likely the Romney campaign itself. I can’t figure out why they would do this given that there is a 99.8 percent chance Condi has no desire to be VP and the fact she wouldn’t really help Romney win even if she did.

Condi is a very private academic social moderate with no election experience at all. When she says she has no interest in the job, unlike many real politicians, I actually believe her. Throw it the fact she is pro choice, black, an academic, and never married I can’t see she helps with base at all. I can’t see how these points could attract moderates enough to out weigh the loss of the base vote they’d cause. Sure she is conservative in terms of foreign policy, but the difference between the Democrats and Republicans on foreign policy is mostly just style and very little substance nowadays. I dont think this election will be about foreign policy, so her “strengths” here are even further deluded.

Romney is smart guy, he has to realize this. So why? What’s the angle? I can’t figure it out.

Forgot to include a link:


I have no idea if Rice would be picked, or would accept if asked (I suspect not), but she would be an excellent VP. She has the foreign policy chops, huge experience with the energy industry, and she is black. And extremely smart.

Obviously if she accepts she will come under instant and unrelenting attack by knee-jerk liberals and their allies in the MSM, but that is true no matter who Romney picks.

I think the notion that someone’s decision to vote for a Presidential candidate because of his or her VP choice is kind of overrated.


Condi is pro-choice and Romney has signed a pledge to pick a pro-life running mate. If he went against that, he’d catch a lot of heat from within his party.

I don’t believe anyone in the GOP camp leaked this. Just Drudge trying to make some news.

The choice of VP is primarily a means towards getting elected. (That’s why VPs normally don’t do much once they’re in office.) But this axiom also applies to the publicity which is generated about the selection process of VP itself, which is why they put it off until the last minute.

The candidate wants to gain points just for even considering a person as VP. Romney wants to gain appeal with supporters of Rice, without actually selecting her in the end.

Why do you assume that the Romney campaign is behind this instead of, well, someone just trying to make money?

Precisely what was she ever right about when she was Secretary of State? The neocon crowd was wrong about everything when it came to Iraq.

I also meant to say that if the GOP or Romney’s camp did leak this gossip, it’s obviously as a way of trying to shift the focus of the news cycle away from all of the Bain stuff coming out over the last few days. It’s been a very bad week for the Romney campaign and they’re trying to do everything in their power to steer out of the skid.

Like I said in the other thread about this, there has never been a winning Republican ticket for President with a pro-choice person on it. Maybe Dole or Kemp were pro-choice, I can’t recall at the moment, but they didn’t win.

My guess about why this idea came up in the last day or so is that it is an attempt to distract people from all the talk about Bain and when Romney stopped working there. I can’t imagine anyone in the Romney camp seriously thinks there is a chance Condi would agree to run. I also don’t think they see it as really being a good idea.

It’s all just a distraction from issues they would rather people ignored.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the Romney campaign floating a trial balloon.

Even if Romney has no intention of of actually nominating Rice, such a leak could provide:

  • feedback on how a pro-choice Republican VP candidate would be viewed. (Some negative blowback from the party base already)
  • an assessment of the importance of foreign policy experience in the public view. (Condi certainly has it. Romney not so much.)
  • feedback on how a woman VP candidate would be viewed. (Mostly a no-big-deal reaction, as far as I can tell.)
  • whether nominating a black VP candidate could peel away voters from Obama. (Pure speculation, but could be running polls now on that possibility?)

Not sure that Rice would want it. Sometimes smart people with experience at high levels of government nevertheless do not want to seek elective office.

I think it’s just a long presidential campaign and the news has to report on something.

Yep, it’s the shiny object deflect. Sounds Rovian.

Between being National Security Advisor leading up to 9/11 and being one of the loudest proponents of the invasion of Iraq, I’m not sure what sort of foreign policy or national security legitimacy she is likely to lend to the Romney campaign.

Add in her pro-choice views, and her long-time statements that she had no intention of seeking elective office, and I think it’s most likely just Drudge trying to get some hits.

There’s no way of knowing who is really behind it, but, from the stand point of the Romney campaign, it can’t hurt, it may help, and it will draw attention away from other more disagreeable matters at the forefront of public discourse right now. As far as I can tell, this seems like the more plausible explanation for the questions in the OP. If the press should ask the Romney campaign about this rumor, it’s up to them (the campaign), to refute it explicitly and directly. But they’d probably just evade the question.

That wouldn’t be a very good guess. It was over a week ago that Ann Romney planted the idea that Mitt was considering a woman or women for the VP slot. Rice has been talked about for a long time, and she’s likely to come up as possible female VP candidates.

It’s a strategy to construct a narrative that appeals to women and independents without actually having to do anything. You see, Mitt really wanted this smart and talented black woman as his vp but she turned him down. So he went with his second choice, Bob McDonnell.

Meh. Whether I’m right on that point or not I still think it is a ridiculous idea. The Romney campaign isn’t remotely serious in considering her. Like I said, there has never been a successful Republican ticket for President with a pro-life person on it.

When you add the fact the person at the top of the ticket is already suspect to most of the conservative base it just becomes absurd.

Either the Romney campaign thinks it can get something from the story - support from women or moderates, for example - or someone wants to try to make Romney give it serious thought. I wondered if they were just paying lip service to Cheney after he helped the campaign recently. In any event I don’t think there’s any chance she ends up on the ticket. Not because she’s “unqualified” or anything but because that’s not the direction Romney is likely to go in.

Because I’ve seen some claims from the actual campaign that they are considering her. So, at the very least, they are intentionally running with someone else’s idea, and the question is why.

Deflection about the Bain thing is all I have, too. It’s not like they’re going to score points for having considered Rice or anything.

I have a better chance at being Romney’s running mate than Condi Rice does, and if Mitt Romney burst into flames in front of me and I was 3/4 of the way into a case of PBR, I’d turn just far enough to the left that the splash of my urine had no chance of dousing the fire.

This was a blatant attempt to turn the headlines away from Romney’s bullshit about his time at Bain. That’s the primary purpose of a VP pick these days–to grab headlines. (It was the whole reason for the Palin pick, and it worked for a little while.)

It’s also a nice bit of misdirection. I had a piano teacher once who gave me a great piece of advice–“if you know a loud part is coming up, play the part before it really soft. Then it sounds bigger.” He’s going to pick a pro-choice white guy, which wouldn’t be a big deal, but if he floats the idea of the pro-choice black rumored lesbian first it’ll be bigger.