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October 29, 2003
Why Condi? Why Not Condi?

Instapundit pointed out a new web site pushing Condoleeza Rice as Bush's running mate in 2004. In the Why Condi? page, the site explains its zeal to dump the current Vice President:

Conventional wisdom has long held that the first woman, or first African-American in the White House, would be a Democrat. It would be the ultimate double-whammy to beat the Democrats at their own game. The beauty of it all is that she would not be not chosen because of her merely being a woman or an African-American, but rather because of her intelligence, qualifications, talents, experience and confidence of the president.

I'm actually a fan of this idea, but this explanation sort of boggles the mind. On one hand, we want to "beat the Democrats at their own game", by electing a female African-American on a Presidential ticket, but, ah, not because she's a woman or an African-American. Riiiiiiight. I think it's a smart move and that Rice is the right woman, but let's not kid ourselves -- dumping Cheney, who I believe is a political liability as VP, is a drastic step, and the only reason you'd do that to pick Rice is precisely to appeal to women and African-Americans, as the site's previous paragraph explicitly states:

Among the numerous things National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice does to ensure a 2004 Bush victory, two stand out as paramount: she eradicates the gender gap, possibly the biggest liability for Republicans; and, she increases the chances of garnering more African-American votes for the ticket than Bush's scant 10% in 2000.

Why be so coy? It's no secret that the Republicans would like to appeal more to the African-American community, although I think the "gender gap" has been overblown. Republicans won't appeal to African-Americans any more by not promoting prominent African-Americans to important positions in the GOP. Putting her at #2 would be a strong statement. Don't be embarrassed by that! Here's another good reason:

The Republican Party needs to groom a presidential candidate who is able to meet the challenge against expected Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2008. Who would fare better, one of the old Republican guard, or Vice-President Rice? It would not even be a contest with Condi!

Condi also doesn't have a chronic heart condition, but she's also not the President's brother, who probably would like a shot at the title in '08. Republicans ought to take this idea seriously: Condi as VP would give a tremendous boost in prestige to this presidency, and besides, she's up to the task. I'm not sure Cheney is up to another four years.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 29, 2003 6:11 AM

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