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2/09/2005

Condi v. Hillary?

Via GOP Bloggers comes word that noted sage and toe-sucker Dick Morris believes that a Condi Rice run for president in '08 is the only thing standing between Hillary Clinton and the White House. Morris makes several questionable claims, though, in trying to establish this. He writes:
Since Bush'’s success in Iraq has laid the basis for negotiation in the Middle East, there is every prospect that Rice may preside over a diplomatic triumph in catalyzing the discussions between Sharon and Abbas.

If what's going on in Iraq right now is a success, I would sure hate to see a failure. And Dick is in a distinct minority if he sees Israeli-Palestinian peace in the near future, much less peace precipitated by the Bush administration.

He goes on:
a Rice candidacy would destroy the electoral chances of the Democratic Party by undermining its demographic base. John Kerry got 54 percent of his vote from three groups that, together, account for about a third of the American electorate: African-Americans, Hispanics and single white women. Rice would cut deeply into any Democrat’s margin among these three groups and would, most especially, deny Clinton the strong support she would otherwise receive from each of them.

Hmm. Dick offers no evidence for his claim that Rice would do well among these demo groups, so it's difficult to evaluate the claim. I don't see at all how Rice holds any particular appeal to Hispanics. Single white women? Blacks? Maybe. But the real question is whether or not her gains in these areas would offset her inevitable losses in the key GOP constituency of white racists, who, while they may not actually cast a vote for Hillary, are not going to be very motivated to get out and help elect a black woman to the presidency of the United States.

Morris fails to see this point again:

As a social conservative and deeply religious person, she would face no bar in winning the votes of the Christian right, so crucial to winning the Republican nomination. Unlike former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani (R) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — both of whom could probably win in November — she would be very attractive to the pro-life, anti-gun-control, anti-affirmative-action base of the GOP.

How many of those anti-choice, gun-loving racist are really going to be able to stomach voting for a female African-American? No doubt some will, just to keep the Democrat out of office, but I suspect that especially in a Republican primary Condi would have trouble with these folks.

So anyway, conservative bloggers seem to be reacting positively to the prospect of a Rice '08 run. Matt at The View From My Right thinks Condi would fare well in the primaries:

When the religious right and gun advocates step into the primary booth and their choices are Rice, McCain, and Giuliani who do you think most would vote for?

And what is the likelihood that those will be the only three names on the ballot? Rumor has it Newt Gingrich is considering a run, for instance. And while McCain has been effectively demonized by the GOP as a "fire-breathing liberal" (in the words of Pat Robertson), Guiliani would probably have a certain "tough guy" appeal to the NASCAR set.

Precinct 333 is also enthusiastic at the idea:

the GOP has a field of candidates who in all likelihood cannot emerge from the shadow of George W. Bush as he works to complete his legacy. Cheney is out. Frist lacks the appeal, and Rudy stands at odds with the conservative base on social (and personal) issues. More troubling is the lack of a frontrunner.

And then there is Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Attractive, well-spoken, charismatic, intellectual, and a self-made woman,

I'll take a pass on the "well-spoken" and "self-made" comments (except to note that, if 2004 is any indication, being well-spoken isn't particularly important in presidential campaigns, and may even be detrimental). "Attractive"? Well, she ain't my type. Charismatic? The woman has the personality of a sandwich! Intellectual? Maybe when she's standing next to George W., but let's face it: this woman does not have nearly the firepower required to effectively run the country.

So my take? Let Condi run. Let her run on the record of eight years of rule by the Bush junta. Let her run on the "success" of Iraq, and perhaps a similar such "success" in Iran. Let her run on the administration's irresponsible fiscal policy and pointless tax cuts. Let her run on the dismantling of social programs. Let her run on the criminalization of abortion. Let her run on everything that BushCo truly represents.

I'm not saying she wouldn't win. After all, Bush did. But hopefully the American electorate will come to their senses in time to forestall the creeping fascism that pervades the U.S. these days. One can only hope.

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