The Campaign Spot

Does This Come With a Side of Rice?

The last Morning Jolt of the week discusses the new movie “The Obama Effect,” the president’s assessment that his biggest mistake is not telling a better story, and then this news . . .

A Ticket of Romney and . . . Who?

So what are we to make of this?

Late Thursday evening, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign launched a new fundraising drive, “Meet The VP” — just as Romney himself has narrowed the field of candidates to a handful, sources reveal. And a surprise name is now near the top of the list: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice! The timing of the announcement is now set for “coming weeks.” It was Condi who received two standing ovations at Romney’s Utah retreat a few weeks ago, and everyone left with her name on their lips. Rice made an extended argument for American leadership in the world. In recent days, she emailed supporters: “2012 is perhaps a turning point for the United States.” “The upcoming elections loom as one of the most important in my lifetime,” she warned. “I’m very often asked to speak about our current foreign policy and the challenges that lie before us. However, we, as a country, are not going to be able to address any of those international challenges unless we first get our domestic house in order.”

First reaction: Oh, no. The Obama attacks will be, “here comes the Bush administration all over again.”

Second reaction: Wait a minute. Nobody blames Condi Rice for the problems of the Bush administration.

Third reaction: The Obama attacks will be, “She’s a token pick, they just wanted an African-American woman . . .”

Fourth reaction: “Wait, are they going to say she’s unqualified? She’s been National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, and she was in the White House on 9/11. She’s seen everything the presidency can throw at a person firsthand. She might be the woman most prepared to be president of the United States.”

Fifth reaction: This is a smokescreen.

Sixth reaction: Oh, now I’m starting to like it. Oh, don’t get my hopes up like this, Drudge.

Clearly, though, I underestimated how much some folks on the Right dislike her for veep . . . folks like Erick Erickson.

I don’t know who is hitting the crack rock tonight in the rumor mill, but bull shiitake mushrooms.

Condelizza Rice is pro-abortion.

She worked for George Bush for eight years.

In those eight years at National Security and then at State, our relations with Russia deteriorated though she was an expert in that field. Central and South America went to pot as well, the ramifications of which still have not been sorted out. She was one of George Bush’s most trusted advisors and her supporters would have you believe that everything bad that happened, happened because of Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Toby Harnden also sees plenty of downside: “Condi Rice would be insane VP pick — pro-choice, never run for office, never debated, 8 years w Bush, no domestic policy or exec experience.”

Frank J. warns us: “If you don’t trust Drudge then you have make a black and white website that would look unstylish in the 90s that gets a billion visits a day.”

Anthropocon: “Clearly the only logical choice for Mitt’s VP is the Dos Equis guy.”

Drew M.: “Someone far more cynical than I might note that it’s . . . interesting, that the day after getting booed at NAACP, Team Mitt plants Rice story.”

Exurban Jon: “Just to mess with the Dems, Romney’s people should casually toss in Cory Booker’s name while discussing VP picks.” He later adds, “This is no way to select the Vice President of the United States. We should do a reality show competition instead.”

The Romney campaign could have a lot of fun interviewing candidates who they aren’t serious about selecting, but who they want to stir up headlines with . . .

·     Ask the CIA for permission to talk to David Petraeus.

·     Inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen.

·     Michelle Bachmann. Just to watch heads explode.

·     Former Democratic congressman Artur Davis.

·     Any businessman who has successfully turned around a failing enterprise.

Again, it’s not that Romney should actually select these people. It’s just that he should have some face-to-face meetings “to discuss ideas to make government more responsive to the American people’s needs and innovative and ready for future challenges” that suddenly gets people thinking, “hmm . . . what’s going on here?” and suggests that Romney might assemble a cabinet of all-star Americans, instead of the usual old congressmen we usually get.

Then last night Bob Costa spoiled our fun: “Top Romney source tells me ‘no Condi.’ More: Romney wants someone more comfortable in ‘attack dog’ mode.”


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