Supporters of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice formally launched their campaign Friday to make the Stanford University professor the next Vice-President of the United States as the GOP running mate of Donald J. Trump.
“We are trying to heal the party and at the same time bring value to the ticket,” said Alex St. James, who is one of the leaders of the effort. “We operate under the name One Day in America–it is a SuperPAC, but we are not focusing on the money, money will come later. Right now, it is all about getting people together for Dr. Rice for VP.”
“First, she brings the foreign policy–Mr. Trump himself said he needs someone in that space,” he said. “Then, it brings a diversity to the ticket that in this day and age, we as a party and as a Nation are looking for, and third it gives comfort to the establishment and those conservatives, who are thinking they cannot support Mr. Trump.”
This movement for Rice is not a lone voice in the woods.
Trump himself gave supporters at a Tampa, Fla., rally three names he was considering: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.), who is Trump’s best friend on Capitol Hill and the campaign’s foreign policy advisor; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who has been a friend and conversation partner with Trump for 20 years, and Rice.
“Strategically, the inclusion of Condi on the ticket would allow the Republicans to contrast her record and persona with that of Hillary. Just look at the e-mail situation when each was Secretary of State. Condi plays by the rules. Hillary plays by her own set of rules. Condi is erudite and seems somewhat shy, but she passes the “beer test” with flying colors,” he wrote.
“In short, Condi, brilliant as she is, seems both humble and authentic. Hillary, brilliant as she is, can’t help herself from exuding a thinly-veiled, self-entitled, ambition-fueled phoniness,” he wrote.
More recently, former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani said he thought Rice would be a good choice.
Democrats are well aware of Rice’s appeal, which is why Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) shamed her at a hearing for not having children and why protesters continue to follow her long after she returned to private life.
St. James said Rice is not tainted with personal or ethical scandals that have plagued the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
As a Reaganite, St. James said he and other conservatives have been troubled by Rice’s stance on abortion. “Recently, she addressed this by stating that as a woman that she hopes for the day when women do not have abortions and although abortions are now legal, she would like to see the law change.”
Although, she is renowned as a diplomat, St. James said she does carry the burden of the Iraq War.
“She now says that based on the information we had at the time, in the context of the attacks of 9-11, ‘It would have been irresponsible of us not to act. The territory of the United States had just been attacked and we thought we were going to be hit again,'” he said. “Any American would appreciate that.”
But, she has also acknowledged that the intelligence leading up the war was wrong, he said.
Another factor, he said, is that having Rice on the ticket heals a schism with the Bush family, which held the White House for the Republican Party for 12 years, in addition to serving in the Reagan White House for another eight.
Reconciliation with the House of Bush is not a matter of getting two ex-presidents and another ex-candidate for president on the same stage with Trump. What is really at stake are the thousands of campaign operatives, administration officials, contributors and camp followers, whose political loyalties to the Bush Dynasty are as deep emotionally as partisans to the Kennedys.
These people with a feudal devotion to the Bush family would look past Trump’s taunting of the family and join the fight behind the New York City developer, St. James said.
“I understand that former first lady Barbara Bush considers Condoleeza Rice as a daughter,” he said. “If she was on the ticket or being considered on the ticket, it would be a family matter to support her ‘daughter’ and she would tell the boys to get in line.”
Of all her attributes, St. James said, it is her personality that carries the day.
“I have met Dr. Rice,” he said. “You meet her as if you have known her forever.“