Monday, July 30, 2012

Sarah Palin was a Mistake and Condoleezza Rice would be a Winner

In a TV interview, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney said that a Vice President “should be capable of being President.” This is not a staggering or surprising statement. It also seems to make perfect sense. Why then was Sarah Palin chosen to run with John McCain in 2008?
by Charlie Leck

[The following blog is based, in part, on an article in the Washington Post by Ellen Nakashima and on an ABC-TV News interview with former Vice President Richard Cheney.]

It was Rush Limbaugh who set the tone and tenor for choosing Sarah Palin to run as the Vice Presidential candidate back in 2008. In the year previous, long before a presidential candidate was established, Limbaugh was touting Palin for the second spot on the ticket. Many listeners bit on the Limbaugh idea and pushed hard for Palin to get the spot. The pressure for McCain to pick the Governor of Alaska was intense. In the end, McCain caved to the intense pressure from Limbaugh and the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Did anyone ever ask if she was capable of taking over the reins of government if such circumstance might arise? You cannot pick a candidate who can help win the office but can’t run the office if circumstances require it. The voters will recognize such a person.

“I don’t think she passed that test,” Cheney told ABC’s Jon Carl, “of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

That is where candidate Romney is right now. He is looking over the field and looking for that precious person who can do both – help win the office and run it if necessary.

Romney’s best possible choice – and the absolute killer nightmare of Democrats – is Condoleezza Rice. The woman has the essential experience and she has an extraordinary mind. She’ll appeal to women and to minorities. And, in the event it becomes necessary, she could run the office capably.

Though I don’t agree with many of Rice’s positions, I admire her. I hope to goodness that Romney does not choose her as a running mate. I don’t personally think Romney could beat President Obama. Rice, running with Romney, might!

The likely question for Rice, a very exciting intellectual, is whether she could stand running with a very ordinary and bland thinker like Romney.

Two women stand out in America as extraordinarily good presidential timbre – women who could both win the election and run the office: Rice and Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s time, unfortunately, appears to have passed. Rice’s is immediately at hand if she wants to leap. If there is a problem with her Vice Presidential candidacy it might be that she would out-shine the man with whom she would run.

Condoleezza Rice is currently on the academic staff at Stanford University. She is a professor of Political Economy in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is also a professor of Political Science and Public Policy. She formerly served as the United States Secretary of State and, prior to that, as President George W. Bush’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (2001-2005).

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