Now that Mr. Romney will be the Republican nominee for president in 2012, the pundits are abuzz concerning his possible vice president. Although they have posited several good possibilities, most of what they say is malarkey at best. The pundits have mentioned everyone from Marco Rubio, the Tea Party favorite from Florida, to Scott Walker, the now conservative hero who took on the public unions, to Chris Christie, the large than life man with bravado from New Jersey. However, there is only possibility for the Republicans that holds any merit, and that is the dark horse candidate of Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
To start, she is everything Mr. Romney is not. While he is a white, upper-class business man from the northeast, she is a black, female academician raised in the segregated South. He made his name in business and elected politics. She made her name through academia and appointed positions. He has no experience in Washington, while she spent 8 years there during the Bush administration. Dr. Rice also gives another face to the Republican Party; she shows that not just old, white men can be conservative.
Her brilliant qualities also shore up everything Mr. Romney lacks. Mr. Romney has zero foreign policy experience. This election will necessarily be about the economy, but once Romney beats Obama he will have to deal with international issues. Dr. Rice is one of world’s premier experts on foreign policy and security issues. She spent four years as national security advisor and four years as Secretary of State. Not to mention she has a doctorate and spent a good portion of her life academically studying foreign policy. During her time in the Bush Administration she not only dealt with the larger issues of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also helped shape American foreign policy on other, lesser known issues. Dr. Rice helped President Bush determine the proper policy to oust Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, who was recently convicted by the International Criminal Court. In addition, Dr. Rice worked on settling the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah and toughly negotiated with Vladimir Putin, once literally getting into his face to show she would not be intimidated by him.
Few people can denounce her acumen and abilities, but until you have seen here give a speech you do not know the other side of her brilliance. Unlike Mr. Romney, Dr. Rice comes off as genuine, warm, and entertaining. She appears more presidential than any possible candidate in this last election. Furthermore, Dr. Rice is the most respected possible vice president for Mr. Romney. A CNN poll had Dr. Rice winning among possible Republican vice presidential choices with 26%. What is far more impressive, though, is that she has an 80% favorable rating amongst Republican, compared to only 43% for conservative darling Congressman Paul Ryan. She is clearly well-liked by the people, which comes from her intellect and trustworthiness.
This does not mean she has no problems. Dr. Rice is famously a religious person, a devout Presbyterian, but she is, to put it her way, “mildly pro-choice.” Yet, she is not one of those pro-abortion feminists who want it available on demand. Instead, she takes a libertarian approach where she believes the government should not be involved in the issue. She fully supports the culture of life and believes the government should not fund abortions. It shows she takes in the complexities and nuances of the abortion issue and will not be pigeonholed into a Manichean approach on the issue.
There is also the problem that Dr. Rice has said she is not interested in the number two position. As she puts it, she is interested policy, not politics. This is the usual response of possible contenders. They all say they are happy in their current jobs, so it is difficult to determine she is just being coy or really does not want the position. However, Dr. Rice is a patriot, and I believe if asked she will serve her country again honorably.
No other prospective vice president can boast a comparable resume or abilities to Dr. Rice. Once she was a Carter liberal, but realized his feeble policies put America at risk; she slowly converted a conservative Republican. Mr. Romney has long, uphill battle if he is going to defeat President Obama. She will easily take on Vice President Biden, or if Obama switches to Secretary Clinton, in any debate. He needs to choose Dr. Rice as his vice president if he wants to pick the best person for the job.