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GOP in '08

MyDD reports the results of early polling in Iowa for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination:

Condoleeza Rice 30.3%
undecided 20.5%
John McCain 16.0%
Rudy Giuliani 15.3%
Newt Gingrich 7.5%
Bill Frist 3.7%
George Pataki 2.0%
George Allen 0.7%
Chuck Hagel 2.5%
Sam Brownback 1.0%
Mitt Romney 0.5%
Haley Barbour 0.0%

TAPPED speculates that an Allen-Rice ticket would be 'unbeatable':
I was talking with a friend who's also a political journalist over lunch, and we both agreed that the Republicans have an ace up their sleeves when it comes to '08: the potentially killer combo of Virginia Senator and former Governor George Allen (for president) and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (for vice president). With that team they'd cover every Republican base and then some...

...a conservative southern former governor from a football family who can talk Nascar and high tech alike, aligned with a tough-as-nails but charming African-American woman with serious national-security credentials (and I'm talking optics here, not substance). The selection of Rice would act as a capstone to the Karl Rove/Ken Mehlman effort, underway for four years by '08, to draw more African-Americans into the GOP; neutralize any advantage Hillary Clinton might have in reaching out to female voters; and help Allen out with that little problem he has about how he hangs a noose in his office...

...Who's on the Democratic team that beats that duo?
Condi Rice "charming"?

Seriously, though, I wonder if this isn't right. It probably would depend a lot on what happens between now and then (brilliant insight, I know) - that is, it depends on whether Rice's association with the bush administration ends up as an advantage or a disadvantage. Those "serious national-security credentials" could end up being an albatross, considering Bush's approval ratings on Iraq are now in the low thirties. Or, the public's approval of Bush's "war on terror" could carry over to her.

It also remains to be seen how much of an issue foreign policy (known colloquially as 'security') will be, seven years out from the World Trade Center attack. Obviously, a focus on domestic issues would be bad for any Republican candidate, especially one like Rice whose major qualification is her "expertise" (again, mostly a matter of "optics") in foreign affairs.

Rice as VP would be a smart move, though, since her pro-choice views would make it tough for her to get through the primaries. That's assuming the Religious Right wouldn't pitch a fit over her selection, or just stay home in November.

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