Throwing Cold Water On The People Who Are Hot For A Condi Rice Run In 2008
So far this week at RWN, the blogosphere has gone ga-ga over the idea of Condi running in 2008 and Dick Morris has declared that she is the only candidate who can beat Hillary in 2008.
But, personally? I’m not sold on Condi as a candidate — at all. Moreover, I have to wonder if she’s such a hot property right now because of some mistaken assumptions.
For example, does anybody think Condi, as a woman, will pull in other women? Well, maybe she will…or maybe she won’t. When Liddy Dole ran for the Republican nomination in 2000, did she capture all the female GOPers? No, she bombed out so fast that she didn’t even make it to the primaries. Then there was Geraldine Ferraro who was #2 on the ticket in a 525 to 13 electoral vote slaughter back in 1984. Neither of them did much to draw in women’s votes.
Furthermore, I think it would be a mistake to assume that Condi will bring in a large percentage of the black vote. Heck, she and Colin Powell are both prominent members of the Bush administration today and what have they done to help W. pull black voters? Nothing. Granted, Condi would probably improve on Bush’s poll numbers if she were on the top of the ticket, but I don’t see her pulling more than 20% of the black vote. More likely, she’d pull a few points higher than W, maybe 15%-16%. That’s a plus, but in and of itself, I’m not sure it would be enough to overcome her negatives…and she definitely has negatives.
First off, Condi has never run for political office before. That means she’s likely to make a lot of blunders that will hurt the campaign. Moreover, it means there are a lot of question marks about whether she can do the “basics” for a candidate running for President. Can she raise enormous amounts of money? Can she get the base to be chomping at the bit to vote for her? Can she do daily campaign rallies and meetings with journalists for more than a year without regularly putting her foot in her mouth? Does she have that warm “people want to sit down and have a burger with you” sort of personality that 3 out of the last 4 Presidents, Reagan, Clinton, & W. have had?
Nobody truly knows whether Condi has what it takes to be a successful candidate and to assume that she does based on what she’s shown over the last four years would be a big mistake.
Also, it would not be wise to gloss over the fact that Condi is a 50 year old single woman. History says that the American people prefer to have a married, never divorced candidate in office, which is why up to this point, we’ve only had one lifelong bachelor (James Buchanan) in the White House. You’ve also got to keep in mind that after a year of the press and the Democrats attacking Condi & making insinuations, 2/3rds of the American public will probably be convinced that she’s weird, a lesbian, or a weird lesbian (*** Note: that’s not what I’m saying, that’s just the line of attack they’re sure to take ***). Condi hasn’t really had to deal with that issue since she’s only a cabinet member, but it would become an issue were she to run for the Presidency.
Last but not least, it’s a little puzzling to see so many people getting excited about Condi Rice when her domestic views are for the most part a complete mystery. As a matter of fact, the only two domestic issues that Condi has tipped her hand on that I know of are abortion (she’s pro-choice) and Affirmative Action (she’s in favor of it). So if you actually care about getting a conservative agenda enacted domestically, I’m not sure why Condi would set your heart aflutter. For all we know, she may be another Arlen Specter on the domestic front.
Summing it all up, I’m not adamantly opposed to Condi as a nominee, the way I would be to say a John McCain or a Chuck Hagel candidacy, but in my mind, there are way too many question marks about Condi at this point to consider her as an “A-list” candidate for the Presidency…