Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State
While the former National Security Advisor is adamant that she has no interest in leaving her professor position at Stanford for an encore in public life, many in the GOP are hoping she has a change of heart. According to a recent poll, Condi Rice topped the list of preferred VP candidates — receiving the support of 26% of registered Republicans.
In addition to her popularity among Republicans, Rice would bring foreign-policy gravitas to the Romney ticket. While Romney can claim executive experience in both government (as the former governor of Massachusetts) and the private sector (as head of Bain Capital), he lacks foreign-policy experience. Bringing in a national-security heavyweight like Rice would be viewed as a major plus.
However, this strength is also a weakness. Rice inevitably would remind voters of the long-fought and expensive Iraq war. She also is known to have more moderate views on social issues than the far-right bloc of the GOP. Romney already is viewed suspiciously by social conservatives; partnering with a social moderate might assuage independents but would not excite Santorum supporters.
Despite the risks, selecting Rice as VP would allow Romney to put a woman on the ticket without inviting comparison to Sarah Palin. Rice is a well-known and well-regarded public figure.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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