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Bush/Condi '04?
February 4, 2004 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Bush/Condi '04? A grass-roots conservative movement is trying to effectuate the Democrats' worst nightmare: Condoleeza Rice as Bush's running mate in '04. Conspiracy theorists, set your Dick-Cheney-convenient-heart-attack-countdowns now.
posted by PrinceValium (98 comments total)

 
I had already read that Cheney might be out due to "health concerns." Two other names have been circulating as running mates: John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.
posted by whatnot at 9:26 AM on February 4, 2004


hahahaa.. condaleeza "exxon" rice - bring her on.
posted by specialk420 at 9:30 AM on February 4, 2004


yeah i'd say whatnot's scenarios are MUCH scarier. mccain would never do it. but giuliani i could see...and it scares me.
posted by skechada at 9:35 AM on February 4, 2004


CONDI! That would be great -- Condi as Veep in '04, positioning her for President in '08. Got my vote.
posted by davidmsc at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2004


Bush-Romney? Could be a strong ticket.
posted by jacobsee at 9:47 AM on February 4, 2004


Ditto what davidmsc said, except for Giuliani.
posted by tirade at 9:49 AM on February 4, 2004


Two other names have been circulating as running mates: John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.


After what McCain has openly said about Bush, I seriously doubt that.
posted by iamck at 9:54 AM on February 4, 2004


Condi? She's hip-deep in the Iraq mess and has a long list of fudged statements for the Democrats to use against her. She has never run for political office so her campaigning skills are untested. And how do you think she'd poll with the Republicans' Southern social conservative base? (And by the way, she has a Chevron ship named after her, not an Exxon ship.)
posted by monosyllabic at 9:54 AM on February 4, 2004


That's actually kinda scary. It wouldn't take a heart attack necessarily -- Rove could do something even more politically expedient. Rove could pin the misinformation about the grave Iraqi threat on Cheney. Or the Plame affair.

This would let Bush get rid of Cheney and make a gesture of cleaning house and let him nominate Condi all in one fell swoop. Bush / Condi would be a real bitch for the democrats.

I say it won't happen, but if it did, it's gold.
posted by zpousman at 9:55 AM on February 4, 2004


I think this is quite probable and would be the best possible thing bush could ever do. He's been trying to drag the GOP over to latino voters (traditionally conservative socially), this would move the GOP over to african americans, maybe even pave the way for women in the white house, garnering votes there as well.

I say bring it on. While it'd mean many more votes for Bush in '04, it'd shake up the democrats even further by mucking with their traditional bases that they feel they have a "lock" on. I believe the current two-party system is too limiting and would love to see huge moves like this (and Ross Perot and Nader's bids) to muck with tradition, regardless of who it benefits. At some point, with the GOP going off in all directions, they most certainly would be spreading themselves thin and lose some of their traditional bases to another party.

I think american politics could use a little more chaos and unpredictability. Replace Cheney with Condi, even though we all know Bush will still do big Dick's bidding.
posted by mathowie at 9:55 AM on February 4, 2004


my operatives in NM and AZ both told me McCain's been campaigning for bush. just sayin'.
posted by whatnot at 9:58 AM on February 4, 2004


Right. Bush will dump the man who pretty much runs most of his campaign organization for his choice to lock the conservative, right-wing constituency of the party: either A. a female minority with an equal slate of potential financial/ethical issues, or B. a man notable for being a national hero, and also a pro-choice, pro-gun-control adulterer.

Then Hillary will jump in at the convention and run against them with a magical unicorn that shits diamonds and break-dances as her running mate.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:59 AM on February 4, 2004


zpousman - it would be safer for Bush to continue to deflect the scandal. Pinning it on Cheney is just as good as pinning it on himself.

Health reasons are politically neutral, and allow voters who prefer Cheney to accept him in an advisory role or something where his heart condition isn't as much of an issue.

This would not be significantly impacted by racism. Nobody would turn away from Bush for that reason (where else would they go?) Really virulent white supremacists are so small a minority, and if they bother to vote at all are more likely to support one of those fringe candidate nutjobs.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:02 AM on February 4, 2004


Um, XQUZYPHYR, I believe Michael Jackson's going to be a little busy this summer... I think Hillary's going to need a new running mate...
posted by JollyWanker at 10:03 AM on February 4, 2004


Anybody Bush replaces Cheney with will help him. I think most people fear Cheney way more than they fear Bush. Cheney is the antichrist. But naming a Black woman to the ticket will hurt Bush in the south.
posted by vito90 at 10:03 AM on February 4, 2004


As much as I like Giuliani, I doubt the Bush team would ask him onboard because the administration already has the reputation of being too hard-nosed and gruff. There's no need for another one there.

Let's be perfectly honest here, folks - this administration is all about business, and everyone in the cabinet is there because they represent someone who in turn has worked to get Bush elected in the first place.

Cheney's job has been to run covert ops for fundraising and shoring up support for various initiatives in the Bushian "cloak and dagger" method. Guiliani, while well respected, does not command the type of power that Cheney does. Make no doubts - if Cheney is out, they will find someone else equally as shadowy and powerful to continue the job.

As far as Condi is concerned, I think they could use her as a potential 'trump' card. As things are moving today with Kerry pulling out a strong lead for the Dems - it appears today that he might be able to give the Bush Administration a real run for its money come election time. The fact that Bush's State of the Union was one of the worst excuses for campaign-year pandering to every domestic interest group imaginable demonstrates to me that the administration is starting to get nervous about November. So imagine the scenario: in the coming five months, the economy continues to stall in the creation of jobs, more negative information comes out about the WMD and Iraq, people start to remove their collective heads from the sand and look around. If Kerry is more saavy than Gore (and it appears that he is) and can work his way into the minds of middle America - Bush is in serious trouble come nomination time.

If the Bush team sees big trouble, they may just pop Condi into the #2 position, thereby drawing lots of minorities into the Republican camp (assuming, of course, that 'all minorities vote as a group for other minorities'). It is a possible move.

THAT - or toward the end of October Bush makes a national announcement that we have 'just captured Osama Bin Laden".
posted by tgrundke at 10:06 AM on February 4, 2004


Most African Americans in South Carolina didn't vote for Al Sharpton last night. What makes anyone here think they'd vote for Condolezza Rice?
posted by crank at 10:06 AM on February 4, 2004


Or rather I should say indirectly vote for Condolezza Rice by way of Bush. I don't see it happening.
posted by crank at 10:08 AM on February 4, 2004


XQUZYPHYR, as ambivalent as I am towards Hillary, I would totally vote Hillary/Breakdancing Unicorn in '04. Diamonds for everyone!
posted by monosyllabic at 10:18 AM on February 4, 2004


The majority of black voters will not give a rat's ass about Bush picking Condi, if indeed he does. And with as massive a deficit as we have right now - and a 2000 election debacle, the Clinton impeachment, Iraq, etc. - we need a *little* stability in politics, just a wee bit, even if the party system needs reform or outright replacement. (As long as we have single member district and plurality winner elections and the presidential elections as they stand, however, you're never going to have anything but a two-party system. It's naive to think otherwise.)
posted by raysmj at 10:24 AM on February 4, 2004


tgrundke: or toward the end of October Bush makes a national announcement that we have 'just captured Osama Bin Laden".

Yeah, well, that's going to happen anyway. The best thing that can fight it is getting the meme out now.
posted by bshort at 10:27 AM on February 4, 2004


So Bush would name a pro-affirmative action african-american as his vice presidential running mate... Hmmm...
posted by y2karl at 10:30 AM on February 4, 2004


The point of Rice would not really be to get African Americans to vote for Bush, although some of that would definitely occur especially among middle class blacks and possibly, though not conclusively, give Bush a larger advantage in Tennessee.

Rather, we should be especially concerned Rice will attract votes of suburban women of any race who are those "independent" soccer-mom types and may have gotten turned off by the Bush/Cheney machismo. This is the real trump card, and it's why I'm worried that Kerry's "aloofness" problem will come back to bite us in the ass. In any case, Kerry will have to counter with a VP that mirrors the cultural balance set by Bush.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:30 AM on February 4, 2004


McCain would never do it. My guess is that neither would Giuliani, but if he would be a bad choice for trying to appeal to the family values crowd, but could resonate with middle of the road voters. As stated already, Condi has her hands tied too much by Iraq mistakes.
posted by drezdn at 10:31 AM on February 4, 2004


> CONDI! That would be great -- Condi as Veep in '04, positioning her for President in '08.

And Condi against Hillary would be more fun than mud rasslin'
posted by jfuller at 10:32 AM on February 4, 2004


Most African Americans in South Carolina didn't vote for Al Sharpton last night.

Did you consider that maybe they didn't vote for Al because he simply isn't electable, rather than assuming all African Americans only vote for "their own"?
FWIW, as a Southerner, I know plenty of black and white Southerners alike who'd support Bush/Rice. I am not one of them.

Yeah, well, that's going to happen anyway. The best thing that can fight it is getting the meme out now.

Conspiracy-theories-cum-"meme" are always best propogated way ahead of time! No time to wait for facts, just start pointing fingers, I always say.
posted by dhoyt at 10:32 AM on February 4, 2004


Bush/Cheney in '04
?/Coleman in '08. (you saw it here from me first)

Bush I didn't dump Quayle. I don't see Bush II dumping Cheney.
posted by infowar at 10:32 AM on February 4, 2004


Bush is already defeated and he knows it. He could put Mother Teresa in his VP slot and it wouldn't make a hairs bit of difference.
posted by filchyboy at 10:42 AM on February 4, 2004


Bush is already defeated and he knows it.

I wish I lived in your world. He's a lock and he knows it. If he thinks he's at risk, he'll go for rice and win by a landslide.

Seriously, I think we're beyond the South turning against Bush because he picks a 1) woman and a 2) african-american. I'd love to see this to prove that racists don't decide elections in America (and by the way, who else are they going to vote for? Pat Buchanan as a write-in?).
posted by mathowie at 10:56 AM on February 4, 2004


" Then Hillary will jump in at the convention and run against them with a magical unicorn that shits diamonds and break-dances as her running mate."

I am totally watching that. What time is it on?
posted by Outlawyr at 10:59 AM on February 4, 2004


give Bush a larger advantage in Tennessee.

Condi Rice was born and raised in Alabama, not Tennessee. And Rice has reams of negatives. Have you seen her on the Sunday morning shows, lying through her teeth and looking impossibly nervous about it? Good lord knows that won't go over well in a campaign setting. And of course conservative southern whites would love to prove they're not racist by voting for Rice. Whoop-de-doo. That does not hand Bush an automatic landslide election. He had those voters already.
posted by raysmj at 11:03 AM on February 4, 2004


Did you consider that maybe they didn't vote for Al because he simply isn't electable, rather than assuming all African Americans only vote for "their own"?

Hmmm, well that was only pretty much my exact point, genius.
posted by crank at 11:04 AM on February 4, 2004


Bill Frist is the Republican who looks most like Pat Sajak so he will be the VP. The Democrat VP nominee will obviously be Edwards.
posted by donth at 11:16 AM on February 4, 2004


Ray, "conservative southern whites" don't care whether anyone thinks they're racist, as far as I know. Either they are racist and proud of it, or they aren't but believe that the "liberal Northern/Californian media" has a hardon for painting them as racist and nothing they can do will change that (note: I think that the second group is far larger than the first).

A) Condoleeza Rice is obviously a very knowledgeable, hardworking, accomplished individual. However, have any of you ever heard her speak? She's like the high-school Latin teacher and National Honor Society advisor who lectures you about "rowdyism" at football games. She makes you want to return your overdue books because you fear her wrath. She makes Al Gore look charismatic.

B) Ms. Rice is unmarried. The tremendous distrust the USerican electorate has of anyone who's not happily and heterosexually married, preferably with photogenic children, has to be taken into account.

C) Cheney is Bush's Agnew. Bush isn't going to get rid of him. Also, Cheney is Bush's best life insurance policy right now.

D) Mat, the "Bush is a lock" theory doesn't seem to be borne out by current polling. I don't think that Kerry's a lock, by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't understand the "Bush is a lock" mentality. The Republicans certainly seem to be far more anxious about Bush losing this election than you are.

E) As a non-Democrat and non-Republican, I'm sick to death of all this crap already. I honestly don't know how I'm going to get through another nine months of it.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:19 AM on February 4, 2004


For all the complaining about the evils of the two-party system, have you ever considered what a real multi-party system can dissolve into?

Italy, for example, currently has at least 27 major parties/coalitions/movements, and has had at least 57 governmental changes since WWII.

I'm not sure this is a better model than the current one.
posted by Irontom at 11:22 AM on February 4, 2004


Sidehedevil: I'm basing my remarks there on Alan Keyes' winning of the Alabama Republican Caucus last go-round, and the reactions and statements made about this after-the-fact.
posted by raysmj at 11:24 AM on February 4, 2004


Two other names have been circulating as running mates: John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.


After what McCain has openly said about Bush, I seriously doubt that.
posted by iamck at 9:54 AM PST on February 4


After what Bush did covertly to McCain in SC last primary season, I seriously doubt that.

How about Bush/Baker? The Fixer has always come through when The Family has been in pinch before.
posted by nofundy at 11:24 AM on February 4, 2004


Sidehedevil: But it's less trying to prove they're not racist, rather, as thumbing a nose in the media's eye by electing a black who thinks as most of them do and then saying nyah-nyah-nyah or something to that effect. And it's all become so tied in with religion that I'm not sure where race begins and religion takes over, or vice versa.
posted by raysmj at 11:27 AM on February 4, 2004


"rowdyism" :-)

How about Bush/Lieberman? He'd have the New Republic endorsement.
posted by inksyndicate at 11:29 AM on February 4, 2004


There was a time when everyone would have been bandying around Colin Powell's name as one of the most admired Americans. But I can't figure out if he or Rice has been more embarrassed by the Iraq debacle.
posted by inksyndicate at 11:34 AM on February 4, 2004


i find the argument that putting rice on the ticket would gain african american and women voters to be specious at best. i don't think it would hurt bush's current base, but it also wouldn't gain him votes. i don't think there are a lot of people "riding the fence" this year.

also, i'm sick of african americans and women being thought of as "herd mentalities". as if they are so undecided, so uninvolved, that they can be persuaded to vote for someone simply because the candidate looks like them.

"uh...duh...hey, that's a *woman*! well, hot damn, i'm sure gonna vote for bush even though i don't support his policy one bit. condoleeza has tits and wears makeup! she must think exactly like me!"

i don't think it helps african americans or women to have visibility in a high office of government in this kind of situation. it just shows they're being used.
posted by centrs at 11:36 AM on February 4, 2004


And how do you think she'd poll with the Republicans' Southern social conservative base?

Really well. She would only have problems with the fringe, which is a small minority.

And of course conservative southern whites would love to prove they're not racist by voting for Rice.

We have to prove it? Heh. Good one. And after all these years I thought I had proven myself. Is there some illusion here that the majority of southern conservatives would suddenly turn and run with a Rice addition?

I am heartened that several posters here do understand that those with such racial hatred are in the far minority *gasp* even in the south.
posted by justgary at 11:45 AM on February 4, 2004


After what McCain has openly said about Bush, I seriously doubt that.


I wouldn't count on it. Bush sent McCain up to New Hampshire last month to counter all the dem's bush-bashing in the run up to the primary. McCain had only the nicest things to say about Bush.

There have been plenty of tickets that didn't get a long (JFK/LBJ comes to mind).
posted by jpoulos at 12:03 PM on February 4, 2004


justgary: Every time I think that, I read, say, southern conservative students bitching about the construction of a university multicultural center or something, as if it hurts them personally, and how it affects their rights or some such horseshit. (They did that where I am, at the Univ. of Alabama, after the administration talked about turning the unused building, the one which George Wallace stood in front of to defend segregation, into just such a center.) There is plenty of racism nationwide too, and campus conservatives act victimized everywhere, but that doesn't mean racism or just race not a factor here - especially not with a political history that is intertwined with it, and has affected how whites and blacks see so much of everything in politics, whether consciously or otherwise.
posted by raysmj at 12:06 PM on February 4, 2004


I'm surprised to read so much focus on Rice's race and so little on her gender--I guess that's actually a good sign, that female candidates for higher office are more "generic" now and less worthy of over-critique. It would be a good move for Bush to pick her, since he has a much-touted gender gap. And her life story is a GOP wet dream: brilliant black girl growing up in segregated Montogomery, champion figure skater, goes to college at 15 to be a concert pianist, becomes interested in foreign policy instead, by 21 has a Ph.D. in Soviet Studies and speaks fluent Russian, comes from a line of preachers and is religious. I can see the convention video now.

Her three main drawbacks, in order of importance, and omitting the Iraq stuff, which despite some MeFites' fetish for the "Bush lied" meme is unlikely to stick to her, are:

1) she has never held elected office before--though has been provost of Stanford, which is sorta executive experience
2) she has described herself as "moderately pro-choice"--which will NOT play well with the GOP base
3) she has never been married and is occasionally rumored to be gay (and partnered)--and gay marriage is a hot topic this year

And you just know that Hillary would be foaming at the mouth if she had to go up against Rice in '08.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:10 PM on February 4, 2004


it's probably the only way he can win.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:15 PM on February 4, 2004


i think it makes a lot of sense. move cheney to chief of staff, put rice in as vp and watch what happens. i actually think people will think twice about voting for a woman, just to get one in, and an african american woman at that, dude it would be a lock if she was a lesbian for sure.

the democrats have made this about 'anyone but bush' - so who would the fence-straddling republicans run too?

i guarantee the disallusioned democrats, so sick of the current bickering among their choices, would look very hard at bush if there was some light at the end of his rather dim tunnel. and the 'extremists' might vote for bush-rice, and once elected forcibly remove bush from office.
posted by bluefish at 12:19 PM on February 4, 2004


Champion figure skater, goes to college at 15 to be a concert pianist, becomes interested in foreign policy instead, by 21 has a Ph.D. in Soviet Studies and speaks fluent Russian, comes from a line of preachers and is religious. I can see the convention video now.

Yes, American voters have always shown, in elections, a preference for intellectual overachievers.
posted by raysmj at 12:25 PM on February 4, 2004


Rice has enormous surface appeal, but if the voting public was brought even halfway up to date on the reality of her politics, positions, biography, etc., that would vanish. The question is, would the Bush administration gamble on that? They've certainly managed to shrug off all the negative press against Bush himself with an almost unbelievable ease... they might be able to do it for her, too.

John McCain wouldn't happen -- there's a big difference between being a Republican and doing what you have to do to keep your party in the White House, and agreeing to personally work with a guy you obviously aren't the biggest fan of every day for the next four years.

Giuliani scares the shit out of me -- in general, and in the context of his being a potential VP candidate -- but I think he's a no-go because, unlike Condeleeza Rice, he's both a tremendous target for criticism AND entirely vulnerable to it.

This is my ever-so-scantly informed opinion, anyway. I think if Cheney did step off the ticket, there would be immediate suspicion as to why a power-play was being made in Bush's administration, and that would be a definite sign of weakness.
posted by logovisual at 12:53 PM on February 4, 2004



3) she has never been married and is occasionally rumored to be gay (and partnered)--and gay marriage is a hot topic this year

In some ways, this reminds me of a movie.
posted by drezdn at 12:59 PM on February 4, 2004


ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Show of hands, who honestly thinks this country is ready for a woman in that position of power?
posted by archimago at 1:08 PM on February 4, 2004


raises hand
posted by trharlan at 1:16 PM on February 4, 2004


[raises hand] If a female head of state is good enough for Britain, Pakistan, Israel, Indonesia, and Ireland, why not us? I honestly don't think people in the US would have a problem with it, once the novelty wore off. Besides, we're only talking Veep here, not Prez.

Incidentally, Rice is also hot, and, let's face it, that wouldn't hurt her chances of attracting some votes.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:20 PM on February 4, 2004


Archimago, being vice-president "isn't worth a bucket of warm spit," in the immortal words of James Nance Garner.

Ray, the Alabama Republicans are going to vote for Bush whether his running mate is Cheney or Rice or Liberace's moldering corpse. "Conservative white Southerners" just aren't going to vote the Kerry/Edwards ticket, even if those "conservative white Southerners" are actually card-carrying members of the Ku Klux Klan (in fact, I would think that the KKK would be turned way off by Kerry's record on affirmative action if nothing else).

Bush doesn't need to add an African American running mate in order to attract conservative white Southerners. The idea that an electorate would believe that their secret ballot votes somehow "proved they weren't racists" just seems odd to me. Either they'd think that the hypothetical Bush-Rice ticket was the best or not. I can't imagine one single person saying to themselves, "I'd love to vote for Kerry and Edwards, but I wouldn't want anyone to think that I was a racist, so I'll vote for Bush and Rice instead."
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:23 PM on February 4, 2004


If a female head of state is good enough for Britain, Pakistan, Israel, Indonesia, and Ireland, why not us?

Because we freak out at any suggestion that the power will be taken out of the hands of the straight white men of this country. Why else would gay marriage be a problem? Because men (no, not all) are threatened by any challenge to their manly self-identity.

being vice-president "isn't worth a bucket of warm spit,"

exactly. It's the symbolism of the position, which I think is more powerful than the actual position. Do you really think that the men *no, not all) of this country would want a woman one accurate gunshot away from being the leader of the free world?
posted by archimago at 1:29 PM on February 4, 2004


since when, archimago, does the country know what it is ready for? We just need to hurry up and do it already so people can stop hyperventilating over the idea. People will be all aflutter for about a month, and then it will be old news.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:30 PM on February 4, 2004


Sidhedevil: The thing to worry about - if there's anything to vote about at all - isn't whether southern conservatives vote or don't vote, but whether they turn out in heavy numbers or not.

And I think I pretty much said that he *doesn't* need a black to attract southern white voters. At the very least, I said nothing to the contrary. I certainly never said they'd vote for Kerry. (Edwards, however, could certainly pull a certain segment of evangelical white voters away if he were to run alone, and maybe even as VP - not a majority, certainly, but more than most pundits would expect.) Then you could always have something nutty happen - like, say, a Roy Moore third party run or something, if Bush gets a pro-choice VP.
posted by raysmj at 1:42 PM on February 4, 2004


Incidentally, Rice is also hot, and, let's face it, that wouldn't hurt her chances of attracting some votes.

Yeah, she's hot in that unattractive way.
posted by The God Complex at 1:47 PM on February 4, 2004


Cheney's health is really bad -- he might not mind taking it easy, and his health might be made a political issue.

Cheney's political prognosis for the second term is poor. His national security team is going to be the fall guy (not without justification, I think) for a less-than-optimal Iraqi occupation and reconstruction, and his domestic priorities (tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts) are not going to be the Term 2 priorities (Bush is already signalling a move towards deficit reduction).

Kerry's polling data vs. Bush cannot be taken seriously when not one media cent and not one news cycle has been devoted to Kerry's 33 years of hard-left political stances and affiliations, and hardly any time has been devoted to key social issues likely to cut against him. It took all of six weeks of media unpleasantness to reduce Howard Dean from a towering front runner to single-digit has-been. Kerry's not immune from the same factors.

(By the way, here's something that many people haven't thought about yet -- the Supreme Court, with Scalia recused, is at least somewhat likely to split 4-4 on the Pledge of Allegiance decision; a tie has the affect of affirming the decision below, meaning that the Pledge will be immediately banned in the entire western United States. If you want to talk about a piece of bloody meat to get the right wing angry and the moderates skeptical about liberals of any stripe, it's going to be that...)
posted by MattD at 1:50 PM on February 4, 2004


Bah. The entire western United States should just secede already.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:02 PM on February 4, 2004


also, i'm sick of african americans and women being thought of as "herd mentalities". as if they are so undecided, so uninvolved, that they can be persuaded to vote for someone simply because the candidate looks like them.

It's not about black people or women specifically, it's just that they are the relevant demographics to Condi Rice's case. I agree that this conception sucks, but it is also bolstered by every point of empirical evidence available. Majorities do it just the same as minorities. Identity politics seem to be reflected to one extent or another in every electoral decision I've ever been privy to. And I--as a man--would definitely be let the fact that a candidate was a woman swing me in her favor if all else was equal (you know, get the ball rolling, diversity of experience, yadda yadda), so it's not only about symbollic self-interest, even when superficial aspects of identity do factor in to voters' decisions.

It really is the extension of the sort of leadership decisions that pre-dated modern politics, in a sense. To the extent that a nation is an imagined community, and we as a populace forge the material nature of the community identity, it is not an unexpected urge for people to want to see themselves reflected in the leadership. And don't forget that Abe Lincoln--according to Zogby polling data from the time--won 97% of the ugly vote in the South, and well over 70% of top-hat wearers nationwide, despite his inability to score so much as a decisive plurality among wartless swing voters.

Oh, and mathowie-
Why is Bush a lock?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:48 PM on February 4, 2004


Ignatius, I think you're overlooking the all-important railsplitter vote as a factor in Lincoln's election.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:25 PM on February 4, 2004


I've met her (at a cocktail party during a conference). For whatever else anyone might say about her, she is almost blindingly intelligent. Get in her presence, and you forget that she's black, or a woman - or any of the other attributes that are discussed during political calculations. Very few minds are capable of simultaneously grasping the biggest of big pictures, and having the memory and focus to understand the smallest of details.

She won't be be Bush's running mate (that's just foolishness) ... but America could do a lot worse than Condi Rice as VP ...
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:05 PM on February 4, 2004


Show of hands, who honestly thinks this country is ready for a woman in that position of power?

I'll raise my hand to that, and I'll go one better. I hate what Bush and his cronies have done to this country as much as anyone else, but if he has the wherewithal to run a black woman as his vice president, I'll vote for him myself. I'm fully prepared to endure another four years of heinous neocon nightmare to have that particular taboo broken.

And hey, if he loses because of her, well, that's okay, too. It's really a win-win situation, there.
posted by majcher at 4:40 PM on February 4, 2004


Midas, being smart and well-informed are great skills in life and in the Cabinet, but being a good speaker will win you more votes every single time.

Of course, it's not like Cheney's such a great speaker himself, but a Rice v. Edwards vice-presidential debate would not come off well for Rice.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:51 PM on February 4, 2004


Giuliani is too liberal for the Bush crowd to pick him. Bill Frist seems more likely. Condi Rice is plausible but risky.
posted by Slagman at 5:13 PM on February 4, 2004


Safire had a pretty good line today, channeling Richard Nixon from hell. The gist being, Edwards might not do well against Cheney's gravitas in a debate. "against a steady hand, there's such a thing as too much charisma."


posted by Slagman at 5:18 PM on February 4, 2004


The administration knows that Cheney is the puppeteer. The RNC leadership won't want to risk the implicit statement made by pulling Cheney out. My guess is this is a stunt engineered by Rove and Co. to get even the most vehement Bush opponents to take another look at his candidacy. For the first time in months, there is a national dialogue from both sides that makes Bush's campaign seem relevant and interesting, even if it's just from a "what if" capacity. For the first time maybe ever, people are thinking, "Oh hey, look at this. If Bush is considering Condi Rice, then maybe he's not the jackass we've all thought."

We're witnessing spin at its best, folks. Watch and see if this "grassroots" (= not official, you see) effort is allowed to drag on for a while to let the buzz build, and then, after much media tickling and teasing, there will be a public statement made -- with eyes that never cared about Bush '04 suddenly watching, just in time to see Bush standing with Cheney (looking conveniently robust), Rice nearby on the dais (looking beatific), and announcing that the ticket remains the same.
posted by pineapple at 5:20 PM on February 4, 2004


Midas, being smart and well-informed are great skills in life and in the Cabinet, but being a good speaker will win you more votes every single time.

Could be - I wasn't speaking about political calculations - I was talking about ability. It is a fact of modern demcracy that the skills required to get elected bear little or no relation to the skills required to govern.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:23 PM on February 4, 2004


Plato made the same point, back in the day. He said something like, "If we want someone to fix the plumbing, we get the best plumber. So why, when we want the best person to govern, do we pick the guy who can get the most votes?"

I'm paraphrasing.
posted by inksyndicate at 5:28 PM on February 4, 2004


Giuliani is too liberal for the Bush crowd to pick him.

Um...what are they going to do? Vote for Kerry? He's running unopposed.
posted by jpoulos at 5:31 PM on February 4, 2004


jpoulos

They don't want Giuliani -- pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-tax, pro-government -- next in line, risking the revolution.
posted by Slagman at 5:59 PM on February 4, 2004


I'm not sure if Bush would do it but I like it. I'm a conservative (not a Republican) and I would love to see it.

A lot of people have talked about Condi running with Bush and about what she would be up against, her poor public speaking skills, etc. Just suppose, they ran her at the last minute? Mid-September Cheney has a medical issue and "for the sake of the country" asks Bush to accept his resignation. Condi steps in and before the Dems can even mount a solid campaign against her it's election day with people looking at the "liberal" Democrats with no minorities on the ticket and looking slightly more pale than a quart of milk or the Republicans with two minorities (Condi and Powell) in senior level positions. If you're on the fence it could push you over into the Bush camp. She could even deflect debate requests by saying she hasn't had time to prepare.

On the other hand, those who write her off because of her public speaking skills have never seen Cheney speak. He's no MLK or JFK either. They could prep her for that with media consultants. She's a bad public speaker because her job has never depended on her being a good one.

Bush will lose very little of the core Republican vote. He's unopposed and most core Republicans would rather slit their own wrists than vote for Kerry. In fact, that has been a big issue recently. The parties have become so extreme that it is exactly those in the middle who decide the vote. It was one of the core issues in the Ca. recall election. The Republicans put up an unelectiable candidate and the Dems supported Davis despite the fact that huge portions of the Democratic party hated the guy's guts. When given a more moderate choice they overwhelmingly voted in a Republican. There's approx the same number of registered Dems and Republicans so you do the math on who casts the deciding vote.

A move like putting Condi on the ticket could give Bush a fighting chance in Ca. and other states where his politics might not be popular but his choice to put a black woman on the ticket might sway some of the moderates.
posted by billman at 6:03 PM on February 4, 2004


If Bush were to win the election, this is how I would like to see him do it: by losing Cheney and his PNAC cronies. They are the real danger in the administration, and not the clueless boy king.

As a person who has stated that he gets all of his information about the outside world from his advisors, he needs better advisors.

Still voting against him though, if for no other reason than this one-party stuff is causing government to metastasize into a Big Daddy state.
posted by moonbiter at 6:21 PM on February 4, 2004


If Ms Rice is so smart, what's she doing hanging around with Bush? Whenever I see her on screen with him, she's paying attention like he's the Messiah.

On the other hand, Cheney and Powell react to his speeches as if they're the parents of a slightly slow child who's just learned how to dress himself.

Does she possess “a mind so fine that no idea could violate it”? Her famous education seems wasted. It appears to me that she's managed to pass exams by regurgitating lectures, and ignoring differing views.
posted by emf at 7:04 PM on February 4, 2004


If Ms Rice is so smart, what's she doing hanging around with Bush?

exactly. i think what i was trying to say was that for people with their minds already made up, putting her on the ticket would not change their vote.
posted by centrs at 7:18 PM on February 4, 2004


EMF, I think that might just mean that Rice is a better actor than Cheney or Powell.

Rice's previous jobs (college professor, college administrator) actually did involve quite a bit of public speaking. It's just not her gift. Cheney's no great shakes at it himself, but he's better at it than Rice.

Now, a Bush/Powell ticket might be another matter entirely.

And for those who suggest that a multiparty government wouldn't work in the US because it doesn't work in Italy, that same logic would mean that US trains, telephones, civil servants, and financial watchdogs were constantly on the blink as well. Lots of things work fine in the US and poorly in Italy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:35 PM on February 4, 2004


I think pineapple nailed it.

As speculation goes...I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Wolfowitz.
posted by dejah420 at 8:43 PM on February 4, 2004


Every time I think that, I read, say, southern conservative students bitching about the construction of a university multicultural center or something

I realize that raysmj, but the fringe is always the loudest. I'm not saying rice running as vp will help bush, but it wouldn't make enough of a difference in the south to hurt him. Mainstream southern conservatives are beyond that stereotype.
posted by justgary at 9:17 PM on February 4, 2004


Oh man, talk about reinventing society to fit your pet theory.

Dean et al, was too white, too edumacated, too rich, and too elitist for the south. Now make Dean a Republican, a woman, and black and suddenly you have a lock. Oh please.

Bush is on the ropes and he knows it.

Not to mention, when Michael Moore begs Orpah to run the consensus (at least the one I've seen) is that he's a crazy SOB, but Rice as VP makes perfect sense?

The GOP is not untouchable anymore, they've failed to protect America, used 9/11 to attack Iraq, shredded important parts of the constitution, etc. Tired arguments I know, but now that the Dem candidates are speaking, its hard for the media to ignore these previously 'untouchable' issues.
posted by skallas at 9:55 PM on February 4, 2004


You know, I really can't figure out why someone would vote for Bush in the first place. I'm pretty much a centrist (fiscal conservative, social liberal) not associated with either party, and I try to judge the candidates on their relative merits. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would vote for Bush over McCain in the primaries, and I REALLY don't see the appeal Bush has even to traditional conservatives. I didn't understand Reagan's appeal either, but at least to people he seemed grandfatherly. I guess I'll never fit in in society.
posted by Eekacat at 10:07 PM on February 4, 2004


justgary: These weren't fringy sorts at all, frankly, but very mainstream types - maybe more outspoken, but not fringy. In the newer suburbs, I do think you get away from this sort of attitude, at least somewhat. But ...

Anyway, an example: In a still-fairly-recent Alabama vote to overturn, in symbolic fashion, an old ban on interracial marriage - required for constitutional reasons - the vote was of the urban v. rural sort, with the urban in favor of ending the ban. The urban vote won out. No party lines were followed here, however - that is, the political geography of Ala. partisanship is much more complicated. A similar urban-rural split held in a lottery election, or so I've been told by people who should know.

In any case, it's not a particularly fringy sort of thing I'm talking about there.
posted by raysmj at 10:07 PM on February 4, 2004


We'll just agree to disagree raysmj. Here in birmingham we've elected a black mayor and we have a black woman for a police chief.

I don't see any problem with Rice as VP. Regardless, I don't see it happening, so I'm guessing we'll never know.
posted by justgary at 10:41 PM on February 4, 2004


Birmingham has a majority black population - an overwhelming majority, even. Big stunner there. The city, like other southern places, has been subject to court-ordered municipal election changes over the years besides.
posted by raysmj at 11:07 PM on February 4, 2004


In any case, I'm pretty sure I just indicated that people in newer suburbs would be *more* likely to vote for a minority, regardless of party. Birmingham is the state's largest metropolitan area. So I fail to get your point. (I'm in a university town that does tend to lean a smidgen more liberal or open-minded than the state norm. However, you have students from all over the state here, and you still have all-white frats and such. I see a lot more interracial mingling on campus than I did even four years ago, however - a lot more.)
posted by raysmj at 11:21 PM on February 4, 2004


All I can say is...

Dear God... I'm frightened...

Although I'm all about the moldering corpse of Liberace. No salary or benefits, no misuse of government perks, no sex scandals (or at least I HOPE not)...
posted by Samizdata at 12:15 AM on February 5, 2004


From James Fallows' Atlantic Monthly piece, Blind Into Baghdad:
... in several months of interviews I never once heard someone say "We took this step because the President indicated ..." or "The President really wanted ..." Instead I heard "Rumsfeld wanted," "Powell thought," "The Vice President pushed," "Bremer asked," and so on. One need only compare this with any discussion of foreign policy in Reagan's or Clinton's Administration—or Nixon's, or Kennedy's, or Johnson's, or most others—to sense how unusual is the absence of the President as prime mover. The other conspicuously absent figure was Condoleezza Rice, even after she was supposedly put in charge of coordinating Administration policy on Iraq, last October. It is possible that the President's confidants are so discreet that they have kept all his decisions and instructions secret. But that would run counter to the fundamental nature of bureaucratic Washington, where people cite a President's authority whenever they possibly can ("The President feels strongly about this, so ...").

... the more likely inference is that Bush took a strong overall position—fighting terrorism is this generation's challenge—and then was exposed to only a narrow range of options worked out by the contending forces within his Administration.
posted by moonbiter at 1:29 AM on February 5, 2004


Assuming Kerry falters, Clark cinches the nomination. Or even if Kerry gets the nomination, there is an antidote to the whole Condi thing. Oprah.

Oprah is black, she is a woman, and everyone loves her. Who doesn't love Oprah? She'll have the country reading a book a month, and everyone will be happy. It's Oprah!
posted by benjh at 5:08 AM on February 5, 2004


However, you have students from all over the state here, and you still have all-white frats and such.

And you have all white boy clubs in the north, also. They just happen to hold a lot more power. Everything I can find in the south I can find in the north, just in different degrees.

Before going to school in birmingham I was in school in mobile. Not a whole lot of difference. The major university has there has one 'all white frat' and one 'all black frat'. A conservative school for sure. Put Rice on the ticket and don't see it making a difference.

But hey, I'd love to find out.
posted by justgary at 5:41 AM on February 5, 2004


Absolute Greek system segregation - as in, total or near-total at one campus - is not nearly as commonplace outside of the South. Sorry.
posted by raysmj at 7:57 AM on February 5, 2004


Bush and Janet Jackson in '04.

He can yank off her tit-plates at fundraisers.
posted by troutfishing at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2004


If W wants to knife Cheney, he may have the chance soon. Via TPM, the FBI is about to indict Scooter Libby, Cheney's Chief of Staff in the Plame affair.
posted by alms at 12:49 PM on February 5, 2004


Absolute Greek system segregation - as in, total or near-total at one campus - is not nearly as commonplace outside of the South.

How about an all white town? All white high school? I visited my sister in a small town in New Hampshire last year. I should admit that a black man moved to town the previous year, but quickly moved.

For every instance of racism you bring up in the south, I could point to the north. Police brutality? Look at liberal california for the same thing, NYC...same thing. Its a pointless game.

We could go like this forever, back and forth. I never said the south was perfect, but I don't think its the black and white picture you paint either. I also know plenty of african americans who would disagree with you.

I'm not trying to change your mind, nor would I want to, nor do I think I could. You will always see the south the way you see the south today, no matter how much it changes (and it is changing). So I'll just choose to disagree with you.

But if you think Bush would lose the south by asking Rice to be VP, imho, you couldn't be more wrong or out of touch.
posted by justgary at 2:05 PM on February 5, 2004


I think you're being a tad overly defensive, frankly, which showed up the first time I noticed your not paying attention to my overall points or details, such as the urban-rural split and the totally irrelevant and misleading bit about B'ham's electing a black mayor. So never mind. And I never disagreed with you, once, that there's plenty of racism elsewhere. Not once. And if I remember correctly, I didn't say Rice didn't stand a chance, right? So call me out of touch. Whatever.

(In any case, I did find a frat composite photo from New Hampshire with a black person in it. Alabama, like Auburn, currently has *no* black members of any major non traditionally-black frat, and it's a larger system, on a campus with a considerably larger black population. The traditionally black frats have been integrated to some degree, by the way. Oh! And there are some black faces at this Univ. of NH frat site too.)
posted by raysmj at 2:33 PM on February 5, 2004


I grew up in an all-white town (until I was 12, and an African American family moved to town). It was all-Christian until I was 15.

Ray, Ms. Rice is not "a minority"; she is "a member of a minority group". For some reason, that particular solecism bugs the living crap out of me.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:42 PM on February 5, 2004


Y'know what bugs the crap out of me? Preachiness over trivial stuff like that.
posted by raysmj at 6:55 PM on February 5, 2004


Definition of minority.
posted by raysmj at 6:57 PM on February 5, 2004


Unless she's a minority of one.
posted by Slagman at 11:10 PM on February 5, 2004


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