Thursday, March 02, 2006

Running Riding for Higher Office?

I'm not sure what the hell this is all about, but it is clearly based on some attempt to "market" Condoleezza Rice. I've long thought that Rice would step in for Cheney at some point and run in 2008 as the republican nominee, and this kind of thing plays perfectly into that theory...

Rice shows off her fitness regime
Thursday, March 2, 2006; Posted: 10:28 a.m. EST (15:28 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Condoleezza Rice, the nation's top diplomat, is appearing in a three-part TV interview in which she rides a bike, works on her abs, pumps iron and talks about her weight.

Public figures usually do not go public when they work on their figures, though when they do, it can help humanize their images. President George W. Bush is sometimes photographed trying to stay fit on his bike, and President Clinton took some high-profile jogs.

But secretaries of state, a job most people associate with the stiff, inscrutable language of diplomacy? Three days on TV in the gym?

Hard to picture her predecessors Colin Powell or Madeleine Albright doing the same. How about Warren Christopher? Alexander Haig? Not likely.

Speculation about Cheney's tenure at number two have ramped way up since he Shot. A. Man. In. The. Face. But I'm increasingly a believer in Cheney only leaving office feet first or in shackles (oh, to dream). And in that event, they will go outside the Administration for a guy like George Allen, which would then slot Rice in for Veep in '08.

This is probably the republicans best-case scenario, since they really don't want McCain to be the nominee. By doing this, they can short-circuit McCain's chances by pre-ordaining a nominee from the VP office. Then they can trot out Rice to try and broaden their appeal, but her at VP won't drive away the base as fervently as running her in the top slot.

All of that said, I hope Americans have had their fill of leaders intent on working out, and actually elect someone who will actually work.

[h/t Kos diarist]


S.W. Anderson said...

Maybe as important, check out RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman's schedule going back at least to last summer. He's been courting African Americans and Hispanics, big time. I don't know if he's getting much traction, but he's giving it one hell of a try.

Running Rice for president just might end up severing the the GOP's 40-year lock on millions of unreconstructed Southern "redneck and proud of it" voters. These are people who will need a change of underwear if a woman's nominated. A black woman nominee would make their outrage about about 100 times stronger. (No, not all southerners are like that, but you don't have to look too hard to find plenty who are.) Even running Rice for vice president could backfire.

The only way that could work for the GOP is if they can convert enough African Americans to more than make up for inevitable losses, especially across the South. Despite Mehlman's manic efforts and the fact Bush has appointed many African Americans, I don't think the GOP can pull it off.

As far as Rice being president, God help us. She's certainly intelligent, but seems to be a team player with few if any original ideas. And of course, she's a creature of movement conservatives.

Mr Furious said...

What is interesting is that if Rice is anywhere on (or potentially on) the ticket, the Dems will feel the need to counter with Hillary. If Hillary is the alternative, I can see a lot of those "rednecks" grudgingly motivated to pull the lever for Rice.

S.W. Anderson said...

Could be, Mr, F., but I could make a good case for running foreign policy expert Joe Biden against Rice, maybe with someone like Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as No. 2 on the ticket.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not so sure Democrats would necessarily have to nominate Clinton, although conventional wisdom plus a lot of money indicates she's going to be the nominee.

Mr Furious said...

Granholm cannot run, she was born in Canada, and I think eligibility rules apply to the VP nominee. Besides, as a Michigan resident, let me tell you that her star may have faded by then. The economy here is in the shitter and going nowhere fast. She is outgunned by a Republican Congress, and will end up taking a lot of blame (undeserved) for the situation here.

I think she's charismatic and attractive as a prospect, but frankly, I 've been somewhat disappointed in her as Governor.

Biden is fucking dead to me after pushing for the Bankruptcy Bill (my feelings on that here and here—vintage fury).