Wednesday, April 4, 2012



Now that the world has finally come around to something that loyal Insightful Pontificator readers have known since at least July 19 of last year (See the instantly seminal MICHELE AND SARAH, MAKE ROOM FOR THE FAT LADY of that date), i.e., the Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee, talk has started in earnest regarding Mr. Romney’s potential running mates. Always ahead of its time, the Pontificator visited this issue two weeks ago in 3/20/12’s TIME FOR THAT QUADRENNIAL PARLOR GAME “WHO GETS THE WARM BUCKET OF (SPIT)?”, in which I came up with the perfect running mate for Mr. Romney. But, since the rest of the world usually somehow has a difficult time appreciating, let alone sharing, my wisdom on such, or any, things, the discussion will continue.

In this morning’s Chicago Sun-Times, ace political/gossip columnist Mike Sneed, a must read for anybody interested in the politics of the world’s greatest city or the nation in which it is situated, reported that the

“..latest mega-Republican rumble: GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is eying the possibility of choosing former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his running mate…”


One could see how, on the surface, Ms. Rice might help Mr. Romney in his seemingly increasingly difficult, but not impossible, task of unseating President Obama. Ms. Rice might help close the yawning chasm between the Democrats and the Republicans with women voters, but probably not much. If women, and especially single women, are as hostile to whomever the GOP nominee will be as polls currently indicate, and I’m not sure they are (I genuinely am not sure that women are as opposed to the Republicans as the polls indicate; I am not employing the currently popular cutesy-pie affectation of saying “I’m not sure” when I mean “That idea is patently ridiculous,” but I digress.), having a woman on the ticket is not going to make all that much difference. Still, those women who really want to vote against Mr. Obama for economic and financial reasons but who really have a hard time with much of the sanctimonious rhetoric flying around the GOP primary contests might rationalize a vote for Mr. Romney if it can put an accomplished woman, who presumably will not deign to dictate to them how they should conduct themselves in matters personal, closer to the biggest job in the world.

One hopes that the GOP deep thinkers who are beating the drum for Ms. Rice are not sufficiently na├»ve, or condescending, to think that having Secretary Rice on the ticket will suddenly generate widespread, or any, really, black support for Mr. Romney in his battle with Mr. Obama. However, having Ms. Rice on the ticket may salve the consciences of those upscale white voters who would like to vote for Mr. Romney, or against Mr. Obama, but who think that voting against the President somehow makes them bigots. Ms. Rice’s presence on the ticket thus might help such confused types rationalize a vote based on their pocketbooks rather than on their muddled self-images.

All those caveats being stated, one can see how Ms. Rice would appeal to political types who insist, while decrying sexism and racism, on seeing everything though the prism of gender and race. There are, however, some very good reasons that Mr. Romney should dismiss immediately and out of hand the idea of Ms. Rice as a running mate. As my loyal readers have already guessed, these reasons have to do with Ms. Rice’s role in the administration of George W. Bush.

Note that, in the aforementioned instantly seminal 3/20/12 piece, TIME FOR THAT QUADRENNIAL PARLOR GAME “WHO GETS THE WARM BUCKET OF (SPIT)?”, I stated the following opinions on two oft-mentioned VP possibilities:

On Jeb Bush:

As you might suspect, I will NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, under ANY circumstances vote for someone from that family again for ANYTHING. I don’t think I’d even vote for anyone completely unrelated but with the same last name, even a name that is phonetically the same, for ANYTHING. In fact, if I still drank beer, I would have to give up Budweiser and its “popular priced” companion, because they are (or were, depending on how you look at it) brewed by Anheuser Busch. I don’t care how much one would argue that Jeb is not George; he is still related and that’s enough for me to send a few bucks to his opponent, ANY opponent. While most of the public probably does not share my intensity, they doubtless share my feelings and, hence, Mr. Romney is smart enough not to take this chance. I hope.

On Mitch Daniels:

Probably not a bad choice for most people. I, for one, being a lifelong sufferer from Irish amnesia (i.e., I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget.) will never vote for Mr. Daniels given that he was OMB Director for George W. Bush, a job very much akin to being chief chastity enforcer in a house of ill-repute. But the GOP is not concerned with getting yours truly’s vote; it is concerned with winning the White House. And most people don’t know enough history to be aware of anything that happened before the last episode of American Idol and will take into account only Mr. Daniels’ admittedly quite good job as governor of Indiana, or, more properly, what they will be told about Mr. Daniel’s admirable work in his latest position. So Mr. Daniels is not a bad choice, but not THE choice.

So my objection to Condoleezza Rice should be obvious. The only thing that is worse than being involved with the Bush administration’s fiscal imbecility is being involved with its foreign policy malevolence. Even though many suspect, probably correctly that Ms. Rice had little to do with policymaking in the Bush Administration, she was, first, national security advisor and, later, Secretary of State in that den of iniquity, at least executing the orders of her bosses, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy (er, sorry, Dick Cheney and George Bush), that resulted in a series of foreign policy debacles that make the misaccomplishments of Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, and Dean Rusk seem positively Jeffersonian by comparison. She had the titles; she wears the jacket.

Mr. Romney would do well to avoid any association with the man who is either the winner or the placer, but definitely not as low as the shower, in the “worst president in the history of the United States” award. Choosing Condoleezza Rice, who is closely associated not only with Mr. Bush’s presidency but with the most malodorous aspects of that odiferous presidency, would be like conceding and going home to Boston before the general election even starts.

Clearly, most Americans do not share the intensity of my antipathy for George W. Bush and his reprehensible administration, but they do nonetheless share the antipathy. One hopes that Mr. Romney is smart enough to understand this and thus to avoid giving David Axelrod and company even more ammunition to somehow jam into the arsenal the carnival barkers in the GOP race have already provided them. But, in keeping with the general theme of the Pontificator, hope in things of this world is usually a dangerous thing that, in most cases, merely sets us up for disappointment. This is almost certainly the case for those who hope that Mr. Romney and the GOP wunderkinds who surround him will transcend the GOP tendency toward condescension and foolishness and conduct an intelligent, well reasoned campaign capable of unseating the President.

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