Ever since Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an unexpected appearance at a meeting of The Americans for Tax Reform in late February, the political realm has been buzzing with speculation. After all, this was the first time a Secretary of State had visited this weekly meeting of influential conservative leaders; and that, coupled with the fact that Fitness magazine was running a feature story on Rice’s exercise regimen, could only mean one thing to the political savvy in Washington, DC--Rice is positioning herself for the vice-presidential spot on the Republican ticket.
That speculation was bolstered when Republican strategist, Dan Secor, appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (4/6/07) and said that Condoleezza Rice has been actively campaigning to be considered as a running mate with Arizona Senator John McCain.
Grover Norquist, the President of The Americans for Tax Reform, added more fuel to the fire by telling a WashingtonPost.com columnist:
· “If her goal was to convince everyone she would be a good president and, therefore, a good vice president--she hit it out of the ballpark. ...[Rice] would be a great president. ... [a] great vice president.”--quoted on CNN, 4/8/08
Of course, Secretary Rice and her people have denied that she is interested in the Vice Presidential slot, but that is what vice presidential-hopefuls always say.
There is no question that Condoleezza Rice would bring an impressive resume to the Republican ticket. How many Vice Presidential candidates can say that they were the President’s National Security Advisor during the worst national security failure since Pearl Harbor?
When The 9/11 Commission asked Ms. Rice why she (as National Security Advisor) had done absolutely nothing in response to the flood of dire warnings of a terrorist attack inside the U.S. that were pouring in from the CIA, FBI and White House counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke during the summer of 2001; she said:
· “[If] I needed to do anything, I would have been asked to do it. I was not asked to do it.”
Now that is the kind of initiative we want in a Vice President. The last thing America needs is another Vice-President like Dick Cheney: starting wars, undermining governments, while running a secret prison system and torture program on the side--without even being asked. Condi would never start a war, unless the President asked her.
· “In 2003, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice helped push America into war with Iraq. She disregarded at least two CIA memos and a personal phone call from CIA Director George Tenet stating that the evidence behind Iraq’s uranium acquisition was weak. She infamously said, ‘[W]e don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.’”--The Progress Report, 12/3/07
Condoleezza Rice’s time as Secretary of State has been just as impressive:
· “Iraq has slid far downhill in the past 2 1/2 years. Iran is no closer to giving up its nuclear development program than when she took office. ...[T]he carnage there in Darfur, continues unabated. Relations with Russia, [Rice’s] area of speciality, have steadily worsened; a week ago, Russia dropped out of a key arms control treaty. Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, has evolved from an irritant to a menace as he moves to nationalize Venezuela's oil industry. Despite many visits to Israel and the Palestinian territories, [Rice] has had no appreciable impact on events there.”-- Joel Brinkley, The San Francisco Chronicle, 7/22/07
Condi made so many trips prior to the Israeli/Palestinian meetings in Annapolis, MD, that it inspired the Israelis to coin a new verb: “lecondel,” (derived from “Condoleezza”), which means “to come and go for meetings that produce few results”. (The New York Times, 11/12/07)
Condi’s style may leave something to be desired when it comes to performing the duties of a Secretary of State, but it is perfect for a Vice President.
· “[Condoleezza Rice] doesn't make deals. She waves. She gets off the plane. She waves. She sits down with some dictator, 45-degree angle. They do the camera shot. She waves again. She gets back on the plane. She waves. No deal ever happens.”--Donald Trump, on CNN’s The Situation Room, 3/16/07
We don’t want our Vice President making deals. Whenever Vice President Dick Cheney takes a trip; you know he is making deals, and it is never a good deal for the American people.