Condoleezza Rice vs. Paul Ryan

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.