Condi for VP? Fuggedaboutit

You've heard the rumors, started by the Drudge Report, that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is Number 1 on Mitt Romney's list to be his Number 2.  Here's the emmes:. fuggedaboutit

There's no way Romney will pick someone who is unacceptable to the same social conservative base that doesn't trust Mitt very much to begin with and still isn't sure just where he stands.

And it is widely reported that in 2008 she actually voted for Obama, who she called "inspirational."  What's more, she calls herself "mildly pro-choice," which prompted one anti-abortion group to declare her "unqualified" for the nomination. 

Her selection would not go down well with the hardline pro-Israel folks, either.  Her views on Middle East peace are closer to Barack Obama's than to Mitt Romney's, and that has some on the far right upset. One responded to the rumor of her candidacy by branding her "hostile to Israel and to US-Israel relations." That's an unfair rap and based on her futile efforts late in the Bush administration to launch serious Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, something Romney and his base seem little interested in seeing.

Her nomination would also undercut the Republican Jewish establishment's multi-million-dollar campaign to make Israel a wedge issue in this election by accusing Obama, who also pushed to revive the peace process, of being insufficiently supportive of the Netanyahu government.

Rice would be wholly unacceptable to Romney's biggest benefactor, billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who opposes Palestinian statehood, restrictions on settlement construction and U.S. initiatives to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.  Her encouragement of then-PM Ariel Sharon to withdraw all troops as well as settlements from Gaza remains unpopular among many of Israel's friends on the right.

Many of Israel's supporters, across the board, hold her responsible for Hama's rise to power. She pressured the Israeli and Palestinian governments to permit the terrorist group to participate in the 2006 parliamentary elections despite its failure to meet the basic criteria set by the international community of recognition of Israel, acceptance of prior agreements and renunciation of terror.  

Hamas won that election and subsequently grabbed control of the Gaza strip, which it turned into a launching pad for missiles and rockets into Israel.

Rice, who is currently a Stanford University professor, reportedly gave a very impressive presentation to Romney's deep pocket donors at his Utah gathering a few weeks ago, sparking some talk of her as a possible running mate.  But the idea got no traction until it popped up Thursday as Drudge's lead item the day after Romney was booed at the NAACP convention in Houston.

The conservatives may not want to see Rice on the GOP ticket, but Democrats might welcome the choice.  While she may appeal to women and African-American voters, Rice also brings all the baggage of the George W. Bush administration, particularly the still-unpopular Iraq war and the lies that got us into it as well as the impact on the American economy that is still causing pain.  Romney has painstakingly avoided any links to Bush or his wars.

Add to all these arguments Rice's repeated declarations that she's not interested in the job, and even if she were the conservative base would reject her and might to decide to sit out what promises to be a very close election.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.