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Condi Nixes Presidential Run

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that she is not interested in running for president in ’08. “I don’t have any desire to run for president, I don’t intend to, I won’t do it. I don’t know how many ways to say ‘No,'” she said on ABC’s This Week.

And just to make sure we get the point, she told CBS’s Face the Nation, “I’ve never wanted to run for anything.” I want to do what I am doing — I love being secretary of state thus far. And one of these days very soon I am going to return and be an academic again and get back to the California life and to the world of ideas.”

Despite having never run for office, Rice ranked second among women deemed best suited for the presidency in a nationwide poll conducted Feb. 10 to 17 with 42 percent, behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) with 53 percent.

She’s a defense expert and hawk; she’s “mildly” pro-choice, which would help with the broad middle; she’s a religious pastor’s daughter; she’s tough without coming across as strident. Were she interested she would be a very intriguing option, but she says “no” and I’m not the kind of guy who thinks “no” means “yes.”

It would appear that certain others are not deterred, however: check out Americans For Rice, Blogs For Condi, Draft Condi Rice, Rice 2008, Citizens For Condi.

Regardless of her intentions concerning future office, her State Department now looks like a real power center of Bush confidants:

    Longtime presidential adviser Karen Hughes will be named to a top post at the State Department on Monday, the White House said, and improving the U.S. image in the Arab world will be a top priority for her. An Egyptian-born White House aide will be nominated as Hughes’ second-in-command.

    Hughes, who for years has had a major voice in crafting President Bush’s domestic message, is a former counselor to the president who left the White House in 2002 to move her family back to Texas.

    “Karen Hughes is a valued member of the president’s team,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. “She has the full trust of the president.”

    ….Hughes, a former Texas television reporter, has continued to advise the president from her home in Austin. Although not a diplomat by training, Hughes had a hand in several foreign policy initiatives during Bush’s first term, including efforts to promote democracy and improve the lives of women and children in Afghanistan. Hughes is also close to Rice, and was expected to appear alongside her at a State Department press conference Monday.

    If confirmed by the Senate, Hughes’ title would be undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, and she would have the rank of ambassador.

    Her deputy would be Dina Powell, currently Bush’s personnel director. Powell is a fluent Arabic speaker who emigrated to the United States as a child.

    Both women would focus on Bush’s plan to spread democracy in the Middle East, an effort that has gained momentum with recent elections in Iraq and the Palestinian territories. Powell’s title would be deputy undersecretary for educational and cultural affairs. [AP]

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Wow — that’s fairly big news considering her Big Mo was just starting to get rolling. Strange, too: within the last week, there were reports that Condi “wasn’t refusing” and “leaving it open” with regard to an ’08 run.

    Possible that Bush, Mr. Loyalty First, Breakfast Second himself, laid the hammer down to prevent the coming Condi boomlet?

  • Tristan

    Should be an interesting run next time:

    Condi vs. Jeb vs. Ahhhhnollldddd
    (once they pass the Constitutional Ammendment allowing aliens to run for President …)

  • http://calblog.com Justene

    Cheney was not going to be VP. Headed up the search team because he was the ONLY one who was not going to be VP.

    Condi really wants to be Commissioner of the NFL. Ask her. That’s what she wants. When Dubya asks her to run in 08, what she wants will wait another 8 years.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I’m no fan of the Bush Administration but Condi Rice as President is not such a bad thought. She’s not as vociferous as the vicious vigilantes of the (im)Moral Majority. She’s got an impressive background. The way I see it she’d probably be the first President in the last 100 years who could qualify for MENSA.

  • Eric Olsen

    I would love to see Condi vs Hillary in ’08 – there would be all kinds of strange dynamics we haven’t seen before at the national level

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Agreed on the Condi / Hillary wishes — it would blow apart any kind of conventional wisdom.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I’ve been saying we need a shake up in America’s political system. Hillary vs. Condi would be quite the catalyst. So, what about running mates? Hillary Clinton / James Carville vs. Condi Rice / Tucker Carlson. At least we’ll get a lot of CNN and MSNBC coverage.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    That’s funny, Silas. Unfortunately, however, it’s obvious that the country isn’t very interested in any kind of a shake-up. (Proof: Bush the Second II).

    We’ll what’s doing as ’07 rolls around. Maybe there will be more of a mood for change by then. I certainly hope that will be the case.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Candi can’t win. Some people won’t vote for her ‘cuz she’s black. Some people won’t vote for her ‘cuz she’s a woman (though this becomes largely moot if the Dems nominate Hillary, as expected). And she’s single, so the Lesbian rumors would kill her with the GOP base, even more than her pro-choice opinions.

    Oh, and she’s never been elected so much as dogcatcher.

    She won;t run, ‘cuz she can’t win. QED.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Candi can’t win. Some people won’t vote for her ‘cuz she’s black. Some people won’t vote for her ‘cuz she’s a woman (though this becomes largely moot if the Dems nominate Hillary, as expected). And she’s single, so the Lesbian rumors would kill her with the GOP base, even more than her pro-choice opinions.

    Oh, and she’s never been elected so much as dogcatcher.

    She won’t run, ‘cuz she wouldn’t even win the nomination. QED.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    HOWEVER, she might make a decent running-mate for a solid conservative Prez candidate, say, Bill Owens or Senator Allen…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Now that I think about it, she would make a terrific running-mate for a candidate who was a governor, and would therefore be considered a novice at foreign policy in these dangerous times…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    RJ – I agree that she’ll likely not run and likely get serious VP buzz…

  • HW Saxton

    Unfortunately, Even if Condoleeza Rice
    did throw her hat in the ring for the 08
    elections this country would NEVER and I
    repeat NEVER elect an African American
    WOMAN for president. Period. No matter
    how qualified Condi is, it ain’t gonna
    happen.We’re not ready(IMO)for a female
    Executive Officer much less one who has
    some color. 20 years from now, maybe one
    or the other, but both… We just aren’t
    that progressive thinking yet.

  • Eric Olsen

    HW, you may be right but when things do change, they can change very quickly. I think it much more likely that both the color and gender barrier will be broken from the Republican/conservative side – “Nixon going to China” and all

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Eric’s got it right, I think.

    The first black President will almost certainly be a Republican.

    The first female President could go either way, but a Republican is possible, if not probable.

  • C

    Condi is a lesbian. It has been a known fact in DC nad CA since her days at Stanford. She is well known among elite gay circles in DC (including the likes of Mark Foley and Ken Mehlman — 2 gay republicans). Does not look good for her political future.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    If it’s so well known, C, where’s your proof?

  • Tristan

    “Condi would be the 1st president in 100 years to qualify for Mensa” ~~~????????

    Uhhh…..
    what happened to that guy named bill clinton who just happened to be a Rhodes Scholar……..? (as was Chris Kristofferson, by the way…)

  • Tristan

    Condi is gay..?

    I’ve never even seen her smile …………

    now~~what if she beacame a democrat and became the VP nominee behind Hilary for President!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Good point, Tristan.

  • Kate

    Tristan,

    Clinton wasn’t ACTUALLY a Rhodes scholar. He studied at Oxford but was not, in fact, awarded the Rhodes scholarship. Oxford student? Yes. Rhodes scholar? No.

  • Wake

    Yes, it would be a hopeful thing in 08′ but if she keeps that strong NO answer to the question no one will ever have hope that she would run under any circumstances. It really depresses me to hear that, because i’d be one trying to gather her support on 08′. Now Dick Morris says just dont give up and you can push her and get her drafted but can we really? I’m beginning to become doubtful of any possibility.

  • Wake

    “In May 2005, several of Rice’s associates claimed that she is interested in a run for the presidency, but only in draft form.” says the Wikipedia. Sometimes its more important as to what a site doesnt mention than actually throws in your face.

  • Kent

    Kate,

    Actually, Clinton was awarded a Rhodes scholarship.

  • punchdrunk

    Condie would make a GREAT President. She is one of the clearest thinkers in the world. Unflappable and cool under pressure, just a great person. And this lesbian crap? Why would Condie want to come home after patching up the world to see a drunken stinkbag snoring away on the couch with the football game on at full volume? She is too smart for THAT!!!

  • Nancy

    Condi certainly has the qualifications: she’s photogenic, appeals to minorities – and she can lie like a rug, as she’s proved in her time working for Bush, since anyone working for Dubya has to be prepared to surrender any sense of honesty & credibility they have. She’s also smart enough to be a good liar, unlike her boss, who can’t keep track of what he says from one minute to the next, to the point that he won’t undergo questioning without one of his keepers like Cheney present.

    But I have to agree also that for various reasons – mainly the prejudice against both blacks & women among conservative voters & especially the religious right who consider women to be chattel and not human – that she’d never win, any more than Hillary can. As for her being a lesbian, I thought she inadvertantly revealed she’s Dubya’s Other Wife?

  • JustOneMan

    Namcy…how dare you attempt to brand all conservatives as racists when you yourself are a racists stereotyping blacks and people of color..

  • zentinal

    JustOneMan – Unfortunately Nancy’s (kind of bizarre) comments have a grain of truth. Too many in the Southern Republican base don’t exactly have a positive opinion of women or Black people, not to mention Black Women.

    I don’t see how she could get the Republican nomination. Sure, Republicans from California or Pennsylvania, even South Florida might vote for her in the primary, but can you really imagine Republicans from Georgia (outside of Atlanta) or Texas or Arkansas or any place in the South voting for her?

    Maybe, if the planets aligned, she could keep it close until the convention and hope for a win after multiple ballots and lots of negotiation, but Republicans don’t like floor fights in their conventions. Too messy, too undisiplined, too much like they imagine Democrats to be. She’d be pressured to drop out and release her delegates before the convention actually convened.

  • wow

    The commenter above was right about Foley 2 years ago. Could the rumors of Condi be right, too? Not that I care, but her base sure will.

  • GJ

    bill clinton WAS a rhodes scholar. that’s well documented, including on the whitehouse.gov website.

  • Christopher, Raleigh, NC

    From whitehouse.gov:

    Clinton was graduated from Georgetown University and in 1968 won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and entered politics in Arkansas.

  • Christopher, Raleigh, NC

    Condi owns a home with Randy Bean in the Silicone Valley. They were “best of friends” and it was no secret that they were a couple when she was provost of Stanford.

  • section9

    That’s funny, because Bean made a public statement not three weeks ago that she was a straight and she would have taken offense if anyone had considered her closeted, were she gay. She denied, specifically, being in a relationship with Rice.