Will Condi Rice be Mitt’s VP Choice? No.

The Drudge Report made a valiant effort to distract from growing questions about Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital by breathlessly proclaiming that Romney had a new front-runner for his running-mate. Not just any front-runner, mind you; not Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. No, the person who had bubbled up to the top of the field, according to Drudge, is none other than former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Soon, right-wing pundits and talking heads, grateful to have a chance to stop trying to find a way to make Mitt Romney not CEO of Bain at a time when he was CEO of Bain, began discussing Rice as if she had a real chance of being the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee. Some of the greatest thinkers on the right — well, okay, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin — were soon musing that Rice could be the game-changer that Sarah Palin was supposed to be back in 2008.

Could Condoleezza Rice, who served as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, be Mitt’s pick?

In a word: no.

Leave aside the fact that Rice is tied in deeply to the worst parts of the Bush legacy. Certainly, Rice’s involvement in conceiving the Iraq War would certainly be a liability. Rice was also with Bush†when he received the infamous daily briefing about Osama bin Laden’s desire to strike in the U.S. These are not points in her favor.

Rice’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration would not disqualify her from Republican consideration, though. Plenty of GOP stalwarts have happy memories of our Mesopotamian adventure. Nor will the fact that she’s already said she’s not interested in the position keep Mitt from picking her. American political kabuki has a few hard-and-fast rules, and one of those is that nobody is ever officially seeking the vice presidency. (The corollary to that rule is that nobody turns down an offer of the vice presidency.)

The problem for Rice — and the reason that she will absolutely not be on the ticket, is simple. Condoleezza Rice is pro-choice.

Rice isn’t just rumored to be pro-choice. She characterized herself as pro-choice in a 2008 interview with 60 Minutes:

I myself am someone who believes strongly in parental notification. Ö Iím against late-term abortion, which is, I think, really very cruel. I have not wanted to see [Roe v. Wade]†changed because itís an area that I worry about the government being involved in.

This apostasy would be bad enough to keep her off the ticket even if the GOP was set to nominate Randall Terry for president. It’s long been rumored that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wanted to put Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., on the Republican ticket in 2008, but relented when it became clear that the convention would revolt against the choice. McCain had a staunch anti-choice record, but party faithful were unwilling to budge on one of the Republican Party’s core social issue positions.

Mitt Romney is already viewed by anti-abortion activists with skepticism. Romney himself was pro-choice until he decided to run for president, and he invested in a company that disposes of medical waste, including aborted fetuses. He has said the right things to placate his base, and they’ve decided to believe him. Picking Rice, however, would be a clear sign that he was not serious about the anti-choice cause, and could lead to widespread defections from the GOP ranks.

Rice has other factors working against her. She’s been insufficiently anti-immigration. While she has served as Secretary of State, she has never run for political office. And while it’s a ridiculous reason not to choose someone to be vice president, rumors about her sexuality have been swirling for years. It’s highly unlikely the Republican Party would be ready to choose an unmarried woman who is, therefore, rumored to be a lesbian, to be on their ticket.

Abortion, more than anything else, is what will keep her off the ticket. The Republican Party has made anti-choice activism the most important issue in the wake of the 2010 wave. It beggars belief that they’d be willing to ignore the issue this year, even if it would allow them to defeat Barack Obama. The speculation that Rice could be on the ticket is ludicrous. It does distract people from discussing Romney’s credibility problems with regard to his time at Bain, though, so Matt Drudge accomplished his primary mission.

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Judith Howard
Judith Howard5 years ago

My question is: why is this war criminal still free and not serving time in jail along with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the likes? I believe that the "Indict Bush" movement is still on.

John B.
John B5 years ago

At first when a friend told me about reading and article regarding Condi being considered by Romney I thought they were joking and going to tell me by the end of our conversation that the article was from "The Onion" but they were quite serious. Then I heard that the three members comprising the Right-wing brain trust of Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin were talking up Condi as VP candidate I knew it had to be a smoke screen to divert attention from Romney,s present political problems with his CEO status at Bain. Thanks Jeff for posting the article.

A N M.
anne M5 years ago

Rice as VP? Oh by all means, let the dumb broad dream. Next she'll apply to get a position of vice grand dragon in the KuKluxKlan. Who knows? She as well as Colon Powell and Herman Caine are really shameless traitors, aren't they?

Cathleen K.
Cathleen K5 years ago

When this "story" broke, I literally laughed aloud - for all the reasons enumerated in the article, and the fact that she's black, because the base is deeply racist, no matter how outraged they get when anybody calls them on it. But then I started thinking. There's been a lot of cold war talk from the right lately, and Romney himself has said that Russia (a country with a birth rate so far below replacement levels that it will not even exist 50 years from now as anything but a weak satellite of China if it doesn't get out of the doomsday scenario it's in) is our number one strategic threat! Condi is a Soviet expert who speaks fluent Russian, so in the hot tub time machine that the right is all soaking in at the moment, she might be just the ticket. The one thing that confuses me about this back to the cold war mentality on the right is, isn't this enormously insulting to Ronald Reagan and Poppy Bush, who supposedly won the damned thing?

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush5 years ago


It will never happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prentise Wylie
pre,tpse w5 years ago

Linda T. -- I totally agree with you -- " Can't give you more stars, already done. Many more to you. I think that people should get as many stars as we chose to give them, and they should receive points for each one!"

I wanted to send you a star for this comment, but no, you only get one, no matter what I feel you deserve. It is so frustrating to have this stupid restriction; it's like telling someone they can get praised only once a week, even if they do something praiseworthy every day. It takes a lot more time to write out another comment instead of just sending a green star. It makes me wonder about the mentality of the people who control this system.

Prentise Wylie
pre,tpse w5 years ago

Ray C. said that women always make better leaders -- which I would like to believe, but unfortunately, "always" is not the case. Just look at that female leader in Canada that so many negative reports on have appeared here recently (sorry, don't recall her name), and Jan Brewer, the homophobic, racist hater in Arizona. When women are on the right track, they can make better leaders, and I have read that they are making a big change in business leadership because of their respectful, patient, communicative, cooperative, receptive styles. But ALWAYS is just not true.

Carl Oerke
Carl O5 years ago

Not a chance. Willard will not accept anyone more charismatic that he is who will steal the limelight like Sarah Palin did from John McCain. So they are looking for someone less charismatic than Romney. Top choice at the moment a bowl of oatmeal. Maybe the should dust off John McCain and give him a look. I can see the campaign posters already Bain and McCain. Ruthless together.

Ron B.
Ron B5 years ago

Nothing is leaked like this without a reason. A black woman---see what a big tent we have? It will be interesting to see who Romney's string pullers finally do choose to be his running mate. It will have to be someone as extremist and subservient to corporations and the 1% as the GOP has become and yet someone that the Party Machine can pass off as just plain folk to their gullible masses.

Any of the few remaining moderate Republicans left standing is out of the question for the extremists. A minority candidate will turn off many of the racists. A woman will turn off many of the misogynists. A Romney clone...well, considering Romney's track record so far, do they really need another Romney clone? What's a fascist political party to do besides steal the election? Stay tuned.

Ray C.
Ray C5 years ago

Rice would make a better President than Obama or Romney put together, women always make better leaders, the problem is they don't get the chance, that's why the world is in such a mess, as Thatcher said, if you want to talk Elect a Man, if you want anything doing Elect a Woman.