I admire Ms. Rice a lot; I think she’s a smart and accomplished lady who can really wear a slit-skirt and boots.
But I have often found it odd that, when speaking, she so frequently sounds breathless and a little afraid. Even in this audio which purports to be what has piqued the interest of the Romney camp.
The rumors had Twitter very busy last night and Facebook is chattering, today; apparently Limbaugh says it might be Condi. Noonan makes a pretty good argument for why it should be Condi, and a friend of mine says he’d rather see her at the top of the ticket, but for most part the stuff appearing in the timelines is all pretty predictable. Some on the right (but interestingly, not Sarah Palin) have already disqualified her as insufficiently pro-life; some from the left are already making their snarky insinuations about Rice never having married, which — because she has an R after her name — is highly suspect and there’s something wrong with.
Let’s be frank. Condoleeza Rice is as qualified as anyone to be Vice President and would be a damn sight less buffoonish in the office than Joe Biden. She is a graceful diplomat, a fine academic; she is knowledgeable, savvy, internationally experienced; with Putin ascending, her formidable understanding of Russia and the Russian mind and history could be invaluable. The troops love her and would accept her as Commander-in-Chief. In fact, Ms. Rice is a good deal more qualified to be president than perhaps either Mr. Romney — for all his business experience — or Mr. Obama, who nearly four years into the gig still seems not to have a handle on the office, its limits or its nuances, and who looks, increasingly, like a man who wishes it would all go away and let him play golf.
But then I’ve always said that Obama would prefer to be a prince rather than a president.
But here is why the notion of Condoleeza Rice as veep will be every bit as unpalatable to the Democrats and the press (yes, I am redundant) and why — if the idea looks like it could become reality — they will go as full-bore-savage-destruction on Rice as they did on Sarah Palin. Four words: she is a woman.
She is a woman with an R after her name. As Veep she could conceivably become the First Female President of the United States, and there is no way the press or the Democrats will allow the possibility of that first, historic presidency being bestowed upon any but a Democrat. It is, for them, the natural arc of their narrative. And while in some minds, that first female (Democrat) president can only be Hillary Clinton, anyone will do in a pinch. When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the truly idiotic Gail Collins wrote in the New York Times that President Bush should immediately vacate his office because matters were simply too urgent to wait for January of ’09 — that The One’s brilliance needed to be applied immediately to all of our pressing problems. In this case, Collins reasoned, even Nancy Pelosi would do for the interim:
Putting Barack Obama in charge immediately isn’t impossible. Dick Cheney, obviously, would have to quit as well as Bush. In fact, just to be on the safe side, the vice president ought to turn in his resignation first. (We’re desperate, but not crazy.) Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become president until Jan. 20. Obviously, she’d defer to her party’s incoming chief executive, and Barack Obama could begin governing.
As a bonus, the Pelosi presidency would put a woman in the White House this year after all.
They hated Sarah Palin for many reasons: her lack of an ivy league pedigree or international experience; her twang; her kids; “that child” she should be home raising and so forth. Condi has the ivy pedigree and the international experience; she has no twang; she has no kids to be looking after, but should this Rice Dream become a reality — the press and the Democrats will be equally as apoplectic about her being on a presidential ticket; they will savage her just as mercilessly, unfairly and unjustly. Because it’s not actually about any of those things, and it’s not even about “what’s best for the country.”
It’s about the narrative. A woman cannot be president unless she is a Democrat president, and a veep spot is too close to the Oval for comfort.
UPDATE: On a Facebook timeline there appeared, of course, “Condi is a war criminal.” Oh, tush; if she is, so is the present government. Barack Obama has continued most of Bush’s foreign policies, approved assassination of American citizens, chosen a policy of killing over capture, kept the “gulag” Gitmo open, and how do you like those drones? Mama, they’re all war criminals, now. The Immaculate President has effectively neutralized the “war criminal” charge and taken it out of play.
Glenn Reynolds links. Thanks, Glenn.