By Tom Quiner

Peggy Noonan weighed in on the passion Condoleezza Rice generates with the business community.

Condaleeza Rice for VP?

Will Mitt Romney select Condoleezza Rice as his running mate?

Ms. Noonan, a former Reagan speechwriter who writes a weekly online column for the Wall Street Journal said “spontaneous applause burst forth” at the mention of Ms. Rice’s name. Her explanation for the strong reaction:

“Consider: A public figure of obvious and nameable accomplishment whose attainments can’t be taken away from her. Washington experience—she wouldn’t be learning on the job. Never run for office but no political novice. An academic, but not ethereal or abstract. A woman in a year when Republicans aren’t supposed to choose a woman because of what is now called the 2008 experience—so the choice would have a certain boldness. A black woman in a campaign that always threatens to take on a painful racial overlay. A foreign-policy professional acquainted with everyone who’s reigned or been rising the past 20 years.”

Ms. Noonan makes a good point, except for this: Ms. Rice, if I understand correctly, is pro choice and fuzzy on gay marriage. Mitt Romney needs a running mate who is rock solid on both the Life and Marriage issues.

I say this because social conservatives will be less inclined to get involved in the campaign if they don’t feel they have a true and consistent champion on the team.

Ms. Noonan made an interesting observation:

“I should add here the look on the faces of the people who were applauding. They looked surprised by their own passion. Actually they looked relieved, like a campaign was going on and big things might happen and maybe it could get kind of …exciting.”

I do agree that Ms. Rice brings a certain glamour to the ticket. But we need more than glamour, we need policy substance. That’s why I like Congressman Paul Ryan.

Mr. Ryan talks to us like we’re adults. And for the record, we are.

I hate to say it, but neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney talks to us like adults. Vice President Joe Biden not only talks to us like we’re a bunch of idiots, he comes across as a total buffoon.

Mr. Obama is a divider. He is poison to America.

Mr. Romney’s rhetoric, too, is divisive.

Paul Ryan is not divisive. He is willing to face his critics, dialogue with them, and try to persuade them as he did by meeting with liberal professors at Georgetown.

To her credit, Ms. Rice also is an adult. I do like her demeanor. She would lend dignity and maturity to the campaign.

But so would Paul Ryan.

Conservatives are scared. An Obama reelection means we turn a chapter in our history and continue on a path of European-style socialism and decline.

The stakes are high for Mitt Romney. We need a running mate who will enflame the hearts of conservatives. That person is not Condaleeza Rice.

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  1. illero on July 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    “Ms. Noonan makes a good point, except for this: Ms. Rice, if I understand correctly, is pro choice and fuzzy on gay marriage. Mitt Romney needs a running mate who is rock solid on both the Life and Marriage issues.”

    Speaking of being adults, when will we conservatives give up the litmus test of pro-life and ant-gay-marriage? For at least the next 4 years, I’m thinking that these are not the key issues Americans need to be concerned about — it’s about jobs, the national debt, annual deficits, budgets, spending, energy “independence”, Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security. If Ms Rice or Mr Romney was staunchly pro-life (or both of them), does anyone think we’ll be reversing Roe v Wade? Not me. Does Rice’s fuzziness on gay marriage override a stronger stance against gay marriage by Romney? And even if it did, do we really think that either of these people is going to push for pro-gay-marriage federal legislation or decrees? You might, but I don’t.

    And, as I understand the problem, being pro-choice does not mean that you favor abortion on request, anytime during the pregnancy. It can mean being in favor of having a choice under certain conditions. I believe surveys have shown that even a large number of “pro-choicers” are not comfortable with an “anything goes” approach to abortion.

    I think it’s sad that many conservatives think that someone who is fuzzy on either or both of these issues is, by definition, NOT a strong conservative whose other conservative beliefs and commitments far surpass the downside of not being able to check off these two items — especially in relation to the kind of leadership that is really required over the next 4-10 years.

    That being said, alas, I will be skewered for even saying the above, and “true” conservatives will claim that neither Condi nor Romney nor illero can be a real conservative. I breakfast often with a “true” conservative who asserts that Romney is no better than Obama, because Romney does not proclaim the “true” conservative’s creed, item for item. I think this is too bad.

    • quinersdiner on July 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      I agree with much of what you say, but disagree with a critical piece: moral issues provide the foundation for economic issues. The essence of America is the belief that each of us have a God-given right to life. Unbridled abortion is a denial of what America is all about. It turns us into a nation that is unrecognizable to the vision of our Founding Fathers. I won’t skewer you, because I understand the critical juncture we’re at economically. What strikes me is why choose one over the other? We can do more than one thing at a time. If we hadn’t aborted 54 million babies over the last 30 some years, social security and medicare might still be solvent. Mr. Romney needs a running mate who unequivocally stands up for both our moral and economic rights. Thanks for writing. Your insights are always welcome.

      • illero on July 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        And I agree with you that solid moral direction underpins serious forward progress. I just couldn’t figure out how to state it in my comment. The reason I had trouble is that we have to realize that pro-choicers feel that their morals are every bit as high as those of the most fervent pro-lifer.

        • quinersdiner on July 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

          Yes, and thanks to an activist Supreme Court, abortion is the law of the land. What an abomination. We need a ticket that will appoint judges who don’t legislate from the bench. We need a ticket that will vote for pro life legislation. The VP pick is critical, because his/her vote breaks ties in the Senate. That is why Ms. Rice is of concern to pro lifers. See my next post shortly.

      • Ankeny Conservative on July 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

        Unfortunately, even when we elect conservatives to be President, the judges they appoint don’t always rule in a conservative fashion…(see Roberts, John, Re: Obamacare.)

  2. juwannadoright on July 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Just a brief note that the correct spelling of her first name is “Condoleezza”. (Feel free to edit this out).

    Most of my conservative friends, seeing the travesty and tragedy of the present Administration, would vote for Mitt Romney and a jack rabbit for VP – and if you reversed the order on the ticket would still vote for that ticket.

    Historically, the choice for Vice President has probably had little if any impact on the election’s overall results since JFK selected Lyndon Johnson as his running mate. If Mr. Romney cannot energize the conservative base, I doubt that his selection of a running mate will do much to assist his efforts.

    I would like to think that conservatives have a wider perspective on the issues we face as a country – beyond any one particular item on which we might agree or disagree – however dearly we hold to that one issue.

    It is always hard to find someone for whom we can vote who mirrors our views exactly – unless we are the candidate. But one thing on which we all can agree is that four more years of Barack Obama would be a disaster.

    If the conservative vote is not energized negatively by that prospect and does not fulfill their duty at the polls, I may have to re-think my view of their intellect.

    • quinersdiner on July 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks for pointing out the spelling on “Condoleezza.” I’ve got it corrected. I hobnob with a bunch of pro-life activists. We are a passionate crowd. We’re more likely to throw our passions into the campaign if we are convinced the ticket will go to the mat for the pre-born. You are correct that we’d vote for a rabbit over Obama, but are more likely to get involved if convinced of the sincerity of the ticket toward the cause of Life. Thanks for writing.

      • Ankeny Conservative on July 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm

        I used to be a purist. “I will not vote for a candidate who is not passionately pro-life, pro traditional marriage.” Time to face some facts. Those candidates rarely if ever make it to the final level. Look at Romney: his state was the first to accept gay marriage, and his health care plan include inexpensive taxpayer subsidized abortions. If you were going to vote for Romney anyway, then Condi Rice shouldn’t give you pause. (Call her Condi…easier to spell…)

        Rice is to the right of Romney on these issues, IIRC. For instance, she believes taxpayer dollar should never be used for abortion. She is in favor of the ban on late term abortions. She believes we need to make adoption easier and as a better solution to abortion.

        I think what Condi adds to this ticket is some real foreign policy experience, more than Obama or Biden have together. And she will not fold under the pressure as Palin did in 2008. Plus the media is not as likely to ridicule Condi Rice, a minority candidate. I think this is a savvy choice, and I think Paul Ryan should stay in the Congress where he is an excellent voice for fiscal sanity. Why waste his legislative genius on state funerals and ribbon cutting ceremonies, the job VPs are generally used for? Keep him in the house.

        I do like Rubio a bit better than Rice, and I think the Hispanic voting bloc is more vulnerable than the African-American voting bloc. Sorry to be cynical about the whole thing, but would Condi be in the conversation if she weren’t black? I would enjoy seeing Condi pick Biden apart in a debate, though. That would be fun.

        • quinersdiner on July 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm

          Good thoughts, especially as it relates to Rice’s foreign policy experience.

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