Governor Mitt Romney faces the biggest decision of his life. Who will be his running mate? Speculation has been rampant, and we wanted to share with you our belief that he should pick a special woman for the job. That woman is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
There’s an old tradition in America, dating back to George Washington, that men — and now women — of presidential quality don’t seek the presidency. But with the exception of General William T. Sherman, who famously said that if he was nominated he would not run, and if elected he would not serve, saying “no” to the White House run has assuredly meant “yes.” In recent years, the act of declining the presidential race is more a political calculation than a sign of magnanimity.
But with Condi, there is a record of magnanimity that suggests she may be different. Condoleezza Rice doesn’t seek positions. She lets them find her, saying, “Everything I’ve done that’s been exciting was never planned.”
For the last four years, she has been back in California, attending sporting events, writing, and speaking.
When the late Tim Russert of NBC’s “Meet the Press” asked Condi way back in March 2005 if she would run for president, she replied, “Tim, I don’t want to run for president of the United States.” Russert continued to probe for a final answer, and she said, “I will not run for president of the United States. How is that? I don’t know how many ways to say `no’ in this town. I really don’t.” Since then, she has been denying a desire to run to countless reporters repeating the same question.
Condi was the star of Mitt Romney’s recent Utah retreat for campaign supporters. She was well received, and her comments brought attendees to their feet. Matt Drudge has been quoting inside sources that she is a finalist in the current VP sweepstakes and for good reason.
Condi has proven herself a skilled diplomat, a fine teacher and administrator, and a woman of character and faith who exhibits grace under fire. She has also shown she can deal effectively with any crisis. Not only that, Condi has the rare and priceless ability to lead and inspire nations. Of course, she’s a black woman too. If she were elected, it would be a triumph of the principles on which the nation was founded. Unlike Obama, Condi is the descendent of slaves and shares a much more common American experience with all blacks and whites because she grew up in America.
Who would have thought, when Condi was growing up in Birmingham in the 1950s and 1960s, that one day a little black girl would grow up to be presidential or vice presidential material? In 1776, it would have been almost unthinkable. But the principles of 1776 outlasted the prejudices of the day. The central idea of the Declaration of Independence, that all human beings are “created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”, has survived and thrived.
The success of Condi Rice is a testimony to the resilience of America’s principles, principles that Condi believes are true for all people in the world. Condi also believes that America is not on a mission to remake the world in its image, but to advance the ideals common to all men and women. America was founded on these principles. At the end of the day, it is not because of one’s racial group or socioeconomic class or creed that he or she is entitled to the rights that come from God. Condi told a group of black journalists in 2002: “Who you are is who you are as an individual”. She rejects the collectivism of the Obama philosophy.
Condi has demonstrated all her life that she could rise above the odds and achieve amazing feats. Few people better personify the American dream.
Rice says she has learned in life “not to look that far ahead; to do what you’re doing, do it well, and see what comes next.” Not only that, she says, “If you constantly concentrate on a five-year plan, then you might miss an opportunity to do something far more interesting. Everything I’ve done that’s been exciting was never planned.” Hopefully, the most exciting job to date will be offered to Condoleezza Rice by a Mitt Romney who needs to energize his campaign.
Condoleezza Rice’s life turns out to be like playing connect-the-dots. All the ingredients to be an excellent VP are there; they just need to be attached. When you connect all the dots in her life, they add up to becoming the Republican candidate for vice president.
Photo credit: darthdowney (Creative Commons)
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