Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rice for Vice President

Within the past several days, a few media outlets have carried rumors that Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, will run on the Republican ticket with John McCain.

Rice has repeatedly denied any interest in running for office and deflects such assertions that she will be McCain's running mate.

But clearly there is something going on here for this matter to be brought up at this time. Could it be that the Republicans are courting Rice for the ticket as a means to show diversity within their ranks? Is it possible that this notion of Rice running for second in command is being floated as a trial balloon to gauge public reaction? Like the old saying goes: "Where there is smoke, there is fire."

I believe there is some credence to this, Rice's denials aside.

It would make some sense. First of all, Rice is an extremely intelligent, dynamic person who could help build bridges for the Republicans domestically. And her foreign policy experience makes her a heavyweight around the globe. Arguably, she has more experience than Barack Obama. Well, not just arguably, truthfully. But Dr. Rice lacks Obama's charisma. She has vast interests and is definitely someone I'd love to sit down and talk with. I know I would come away smarter just from meeting with her. But I don't know that she will be able to inspire a political block to come out and vote.

Many black people have written off Dr. Rice because of her allegiance to President Bush. There have even been some dirty rumors about Dr. Rice and her boss. That's a shame. I make no illusions about my party loyalty. I am a Democrat. And I am proud of it. But that does not mean that I cannot recognize brilliance regardless of one's political affiliation.

The fact of the matter is, Dr. Rice is a trailblazer. She doesn't get the respect that she deserves. Imagine how she probably feels. She is not embraced by her own people and she shares very little in common with her mostly white male colleagues in the Bush Administration. That puts her betwixt and between. Shunned by her own, foreign to others. Yet, Dr. Rice is a woman of great strength and conviction.

The fact that she is being mentioned as a VP candidate should be celebrated. Call it the Obama factor. Call it progress. Call it the dawn of a new day in America.

And for all that the Democrats have done for black people over the years, why did it take a Republican to add blacks to such high ranking roles within the administration?

Just a thought.


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