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2012 Election Richard Falknor on 13 Jul 2012 08:49 pm

Condi as VP Pick? A Mitt Romney ‘Harriet Miers Moment’?

UPDATE JULY 17: Rasmussen Reports “Condi Rice remains the most popular among those Mitt Romney is reportedly considering as a vice presidential running mate.”

We are puzzled by the persistence of reports that governor Mitt Romney is seriously considering (or perhaps has already selected, but has not yet announced) Condoleezza Rice as his vice-presidential running mate.

We hope his staff recalls the 2005 uproar over then-president George Bush’s nomination of  Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

Long-time conservatives will recall, as just one example, this reaction from the late Paul Weyrich’s circle (Coalitions for America) according to a contemporary  press account of the Weyrich Lunch

“Weyrich, who hosted one of the meetings, said afterward that he had rarely seen the level of passion at one of his weekly sessions. ‘This kind of emotional thing will not happen often, Weyrich said. But he feared the White House advisers did not really grasp the seriousness of the conservative grievance. ‘I don’t know if they got the message. I didn’t sense that they really understand where people were coming from.’”  (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Conservative criticism of a possible Rice selection is widespread.

Ramesh Ponnuru (NRO) The Case Against Condi

I doubt Romney is seriously considering Rice, because it seems so obvious that she would be a disastrous pick. Just in case there are people who do not see this, let me run through some of the reasons”. . . .Romney would be nuts to pick Rice. He’s not perfect, but he’s not nuts.”

Roger Clegg (NRO) —

“She was also one of the people in the White House during the Bush administration who insisted the administration’s position in the University of Michigan cases leaves the door open for schools to use racial and ethnic preferences in admissions.”

Quin Hillyer (American Spectator): Rice Should Not Be on Romney’s Menu

“If the Drudge Report is to be believed, Condoleezza Rice is at or near the top of Mitt Romney’s list for running mate. God forbid.”

Erick Erickson (RedState) The [Insert Squishy Veep Choice] Campaign Spin We Could Expect

“What if Condi Rice were the pick? It won’t happen, but what if Condi Rice were the pick? Well, some of us have heard all the same old tired excuses from sell out Republican leaders for so long, we can tell you now exactly what Team Romney and the GOP would say. These may sound familiar to you as they are frequently used to justify bad candidates and policy. Here’s what we could expect. . . .”

Michael Rubin (Contentions) Reservations About Rice

“Like Madeleine Albright before her, Rice’s outreach to the Dear Leader was poorly conceived and motivated, and did little but to cede America’s strategic leverage and make North Korea more dangerous.”

Condi’s Park City Pitch

McKay Coppins (BuzzFeed) reported today in his “Audio Exclusive: The Speech That Landed Condi On Romney’s List: A call to ‘storm Washington D.C.’ Speculation in Park City that ‘she wants to be Vice President.’”  —

“With The Drudge Report driving speculation that Condoleezza Rice is now a leading contender in the Republican veepstakes, campaign surrogates and supporters say Rice electrified Mitt Romney’s circle last month with a speech she delivered at the candidate’s closed-door June fundraising retreat in Park City.

Rice’s forceful and surprisingly partisan 13-minute address — audio of which has been obtained by BuzzFeed — won her two standing ovations from the gathering of big-money donors and GOP elite. It was widely considered the highlight of the weekend, several people present told BuzzFeed.

The standout performance took several people in Romney’s orbit by surprise. One surrogate said he was surprised by the red meat rhetoric employed by Rice, who has largely eschewed the political arena in recent years, devoting her time instead to an academic career at Stanford.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

We fear our conservative friends are too quick to dismiss the likelihood of Dr. Rice’s candidacy although we hope they are right

But real history is often the enemy of logic even in usually exceptional America.

If Dr. Rice is indeed the selection, it will further highlight the difference Main Street conservatives rightly discern between their own values and those of the “big-money donors and GOP elite” — in this case reported to comprise the Park City gathering.

These Main Street conservatives are needed to turn out in force for governor Mitt Romney well before, and on next November 6.

During president George Bush’s second term we and many others noted that the uproar surrounding Harriet Miers’ nomination signified the drying up of conservative trust in the Bush Administration.

Many conservative voters have put aside their doubts to get behind governor Romney.  Selecting Dr. Rice, pro-choice and pro-Bush-immigration-policy, as the GOP vice-presidential candidate would bring back their doubts very quickly.

But even for the Romney Campaign to acquiesce in this public speculation about a candidate so troubling to the GOP base shows a disheartening lack of understanding of the conservative grass-roots.

As the late Paul Weyrich said about the White House advocates of the Miers nomination – –

“I didn’t sense that they really understand where people were coming from.”

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ALSO SEE! Diana West writes yesterday July 13 in her “NO VEEP CONDI” –“The bottom line is that Condoleezza Rice looks at both the United State and the world through a very murky prism of race, seeing in the segregated South she was born in not only the template for struggle everywhere, but also the actors in struggle everywhere. This shockingly parochial view sharply limits her understanding of war and peace at home and abroad.” Read author West’s 2005, 2007, 2008 columns on Dr. Rice, and Andy McCarthy’s 2009 column and Paul Sperry’s 2010 related report all of which West includes in her post of yesterday. West concludes: “After rereading these entries, I can only say it was worse than I remembered.”

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