Romney is quintessentially white. He squeaks of whiteness. He's Mormon, he's preppie even at middle-age, he's father of many and clearly not hip-hop. Yet, you've got to give him props for showing up at the NAACP doings last week and standing tall on what needs to be done, particularly with regard to the stake of the African-American community on jobs, education, and their American potential. The Bamster sent his sock-puppets, Holder and Biden to do the Baptist minister schtick while he went courting other niche demographics. Romney spoke truth to black power and the socks went all cliche. Some folks even noticed.
Then within hours we had the breaking news of a possible cataclysmic shuffle in the VP sweeps on the Romney side. Out of nowhere we get Drudge announcing Condi Rice as the top dog. Within less than a news-day we've got coverage on Limbaugh, the WSJ, the whole line-up of Fox talking heads and even CNN.
Pros and Cons of Condi
I'm not a Condoleeza Rice fan. I respect her intellect, experience and capabilities, but we simply disagree on more than we mesh totally. She's a bit too East Coast, one-world, realpolitik for my taste. She's a negotiator rather than a warrior. That's fine, but not always effective.
But, what about the CNN analysis?
I'll agree that the two-fer aspect is compelling. It is also a recipe for disaster. It is totally dependent upon the simplification that Black Americans will vote for a Black candidate regardless of ideology. That doesn't stand up to observation. They won't vote for a conservative Black at the expense of an uber-liberal that appeals to their welfare foundations. They wouldn't go for Herman Cain, they have always been luke-warm for Colin Powell, and they aren't about to grab the Oreo Rice.
The gender argument is equally shaky. Women who choose a candidate on gender will still stick with the liberal. Women who vote on issues, ideology and fundamental free-market principles will vote on that rather than gender.
No significant impact on the positive side for the Condi two-fer.
Rice has the chops to handle the job. She most assuredly could slice and dice Biden in an intellectual debate. She would be room-temp foie gras in a bombastic TV smack-down debate. The latter is more likely.
The Bush administration linkage has pretty much run its course. How many years can the Bamster continue to blame Bush and still have credibility? No, that doesn't sway either way.
Which comes down to the core in the CNN piece; the abortion issue. Is it as important as Tony Perkins would want us to believe? For some voters, certainly. But is it the most compelling issue of this election? If a Presidential candidate asserts he is pro-life and his running mate is not hard-over on choice facing a wildly pro-choice, abortion-on-demand, duo where will the uber-conservative voter go?
The spin is the factor to watch here.
Would Condi be a great VP? I suppose she would. Does she have the credentials? Absolutely. Does she have the fire in the belly? Not a bit of it.
I would love to see her in Sec State again. I'd be happy with her at UN Ambassador giving the US resignation from the organization speech. There are a half-dozen cabinet seats she would grace.
But not VP now. CNN's analysis of cons carrying the day is right, but for the wrong reasons.