Precinct 333

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Condi For President

Dick Morris wrote an interesting commentary on why the GOP needs a “Draft Condi” movement for 2008.

Of course, she isn’t running — nor is there any indication that she is harboring thoughts of a candidacy. But as her visibility increases, so will her viability. It may just be possible to draft Condi into the race. A real presidential draft movement hasn’t happened since 1952, when Republicans urged Eisenhower to get into the race. A draft-Condi movement seems almost antiquated in this era of ambitious and self-promoting candidates, but it may well fill a deep need in the electorate to vote for someone who is running in response to a genuine call of the people.

Condi Rice is a work in progress. Her rise has been impelled by her merits and achievements rather than any efforts on her part to curry favor in the media. She is still working and still progressing. But keep your eye on this political star. It is rising and may one day be ascendant.

I agree. As I look at the field as it stands today, it appears that the Democrats will be running Hillary Clinton. After all, what other candidate do they have of her stature and popularity. On the other hand, the GOP has a field of candidates who in all likelihood cannot emerge from the shadow of George W. Bush as he works to complete his legacy. Cheney is out. Frist lacks the appeal, and Rudy stands at odds with the conservative base on social (and personal) issues. More troubling is the lack of a frontrunner.

And then there is Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Attractive, well-spoken, charismatic, intellectual, and a self-made woman, Rice has risen from her start as a Southern black child during the waning days of Jim Crow to a position that would have appeared unattainable by a black woman at the time of her birth a half century ago. She would stand in sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton, who started in the wealthy suburbs of Chicago, married an up-and-coming Bill Clinton, and rode his coattails to power. Rice worked to get to the top, while Hillary got there by virtue of her husband.

What factors does Morris see as helping Dr. Rice in any presidential bid? She is a key part of the team that developed and implemented the Bush policies in the War on Terror. She has academic credentials that she has the intellectual strengths that the Left has argued Bush lacks. Rice’s conservative credentials and strong religious background will make her appealing to the core constituency of the GOP. The symbolism of her candidacy and election would be a capstone on the battle for inclusion of minorities in the public life of the nation. And she appeals to certain demographic groups -- African-Americans, Hispanics and single white women – that formed the core of the recent Democrat coalitions, thereby making it more difficult for any Democrat, including Hillary, to garner enough votes to win the presidency.

In short, Condoleezza Rice appears to be the best choice for the GOP in 2008. However, she has shown no public interest in a run for elective office. It may be that what is needed is a grass-roots campaign to persuade our new Secretary of State to toss her hat into the ring. And as one who doesn’t see any other candidate out there who appeals to me, I’m more than willing to throw my support to her right now.


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