Condi on deck

Condoleezza Rice as Romney’s veep? It’s possible

Eeny, meeny, miney, mo, who will Mitt Romney choose to stand by him during this presidential election? If the rumor mill’s right, it just might be Condoleezza Rice.

Condoleezza Rice as Romney’s veep? It’s possible
Joseph Mantecon / VANGUARD STAFF

Eeny, meeny, miney, mo, who will Mitt Romney choose to stand by him during this presidential election? If the rumor mill’s right, it just might be Condoleezza Rice.

Romney’s latest short list, though, is Rice-free. He’s got former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Thanks to Romney’s wife Ann, however, Rice isn’t completely out of the picture. Mrs. Romney sent the rumor mill into overdrive with her comment that the Romney campaign had “been looking forward” to Romney picking a female running mate. “I love that option,” she said.

Given Rice’s repeated statements expressing her lack of interest in elected office and the latest VP short list, why is the rumor mill still churning?

According to The Weekly Standard, Romney won’t want to take the chance with someone who hasn’t been “fully vetted on a campaign trail.” Translated, this means the campaign doesn’t want another Sarah Palin, i.e., a candidate who fell short in terms of in-depth knowledge of policy, floundered during interviews and oftentimes appeared at odds with running mate John McCain.

Rice appeals to the Republican Party, and here’s why: Her loyalty to former President George W. Bush was unrelenting. She carried out her various political roles for eight full years during Bush’s presidency without wavering in the public eye. Unlike Palin, Rice knows how to carry herself in terms of acting on the national stage, and if Romney was to choose her as his running mate he could rest assured he wasn’t repeating the Palin disaster.

Personality aside, Rice’s curriculum vitae is well stocked: She served as National Security Advisor from 2001–05, then as U.S. Secretary of State from 2005–09. Rice was the second woman (after Madeleine Albright) as well as the second African American to assume the Secretary of State role. Prior to serving under the Bush administration, Rice was a professor of political science at Stanford University, where she also served as provost from 1993–99.

During her time as Secretary of State, Rice created the Transformational Diplomacy policy, which focuses on democracy in the Greater Middle East with a strong emphasis on supporting democratically elected governments. Rice returned to Stanford University as a political science professor in 2009. In 2010 she became a faculty member of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a director of its Center for Global Business and the Economy.

To say Rice is accomplished is an understatement of colossal proportions. Not only is she experienced in the political world, she is also highly educated and lends her personal knowledge and experience to the education of others.

In terms of personal beliefs, many of Rice’s values remain true to those that most conservatives hold close. She isn’t exactly anti-abortion but leans in favor of the federal government not being responsible for funding abortion procedures, which could make her a not-so-great choice if Romney is hoping to appeal to women voters. She’s in favor of cutting spending rather than increasing taxes, supports national standards of education rather than focusing on localized education and wants the federal government to play a limited role in the healthcare issue.

She also believes in preventive counterterrorism, meaning she wantsto nip problems in the bud before they spell disaster. This includes securing intelligence agencies so terrorism doesn’t happen in the first place. While commendable, this is easier said than done.

Bottom line: She can toe the Romney party line.

As far as the Republican Party is concerned, Romney would be doing himself a favor by choosing Rice as his veep. Critics would say that he did so in order to gain a higher female vote, and while there might be some truth to that, it would be true of any woman he chose. Romney can’t go wrong with Rice. She’s educated and experienced in the political arena.

Rice is—and, mind you, this comes from a registered Democrat—the best choice if Romney is to be our next president.

Having said that, Romney doesn’t seem to be doing so hot on the campaign trail. While he may have amassed support from the conservative side of the spectrum, President Barack Obama and his VP Joe Biden still have that youth appeal that garnered Obama the 2008 election. Whether that will change in the next four months remains to be seen.

Let’s hope that Romney makes the right choice in terms of his running mate—or maybe we should hope he doesn’t so Obama will have a better chance at getting another four years in office.