It’s interesting to see that Bill Kristol is throwing Condi Rice into the mix as a potential running-mate for Mitt Romney. Since we all decided not to treat the Bush foreign policy team like the war criminals that they are, this prediction actually has a degree of plausibility. Secretary Rice did a passable job of helping Bush kind of clean up a bit of his mess during his second term. As for as the people who live in the Beltway bubble are concerned, Rice’s turn as the State Department didn’t go so badly. She certainly emerged far less scathed than figures like Rumsfeld and Cheney, although there is still her disastrous record as National Security Adviser to contend with. The Obama administration is in possession of a lot of records that Romney cannot see, which creates a pretty frightening vetting problem.
There is some very significant downside to picking anyone from the Bush administration, particularly from his foreign policy team. In addition, Secretary Rice has never run for office and lacks experience on the stump. Selecting her would involve a lot of risk.
As a demographic ploy, it wouldn’t move any black voters, but it might help Romney make some small inroads with women. Despite doing a horrible job of advising the president during his first term in office, Rice does have a lot of experience working with foreign leaders and on international issues.
I wonder how the racists would respond to the pick. Would a significant number of them just stay home?
In any case, if the other finalists are Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Fmr. Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), then I see Rice as the strongest pick.
Isn’t that saying something?