Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rice for VP Rice for VP

The rest of my dream team is Condi Rice for VP. Ann Althouse is a big Condi fan for president. While I think she would do a great job there, I think Romney is better suited, right now for it. Also, there is little indication that she is really running, and he is. But he has a couple of glaring holes in his being the absolute perfect candidate.

First, he has minimal foreign policy and national security experience. Yes, he had to deal with a lot of foreigners for the SLC Olympics, but they weren't trying to kill each other, at least not literally. Rice, on the other hand, was originally brought into the Bush (43) camp to bring the soon-to-be President up to speed on foreign policy and national security, and this ultimately migrated into the top foreign policy job in the country: Secretary of State. Also, obviously from her job as National Security Director, she is an expert on terrorism and national security.

Secondly, her devout Christianity is well accepted by those on the Religious Right. Not an evangelical herself, but her quiet devout practice is respected by them. And this is likely to quiet any qualms any of them might have about Romney's Mormonism.

Third, race and sex. Hillary is still likely to be the Democratic nominee for president. Rice is the closest the Republicans have for a woman ready for prime time. Libby Dole's time is past, and her Senate career hasn't done anything to make her look more presidential.

And, of course, Rice is Black, having experienced racism first hand, and overcoming that to reach the top of government, solely on her own merits. At the NAACP meeting this week, she was applauded. Mr. Bush was accepted - partially because she was brought along, and it is well known, esp. in that community, that she is his alter-ego, esp. when it comes to international affairs. The Republicans aren't going to win the Black vote. Not yet. But this would peel away some Black votes. But what it would do is swing some moderates in the Republican direction.

Both Bush and Romney have Harvard MBAs. Both seem to operate in government like they have them. One of the attributes of such graduates is an appreciation and a reward for merit. Bush bonded with, learned to trust implicitly, and, therefore ultimately, to significantly delegates to Dr. Rice. I suspect that, of all those running for president on either side, Romney is the one who could most likely reproduce this. Bush and Romney also seem to have a very similar formal way of working: meetings start on time, people are dressed accordingly, etc.

Finally, the two would have very nice geographic spread. Romney grew up in Michigan, son of the governor and one-time presidential candidate. He went back to his family's Utah roots to run the Olympics. And, now, he governor of Mass. Rice, on the other hand, was born in the deep south. She was aised there, amid segregation, and the entailing violence. She then moved here to Colorado for middle school, high school, and college. She spent a couple of years in the midwest for her master's degree (before returning here for her PhD). Then, off to California, where she taught, and was ultimately the youngest provost in the history of that state's most prestigious university.

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