A small, under-researched story on a conservative website has all of media abuzz. But is it much ado about nothing?
Welcome to the way things work in modern media: On Thursday, Matt Drudge posted to his conservative news aggregation site, the Drudge Report, that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was one of the top vice presidential picks for Mitt Romney. Drudge didn’t give much evidence about what makes him think Rice is the so-called “frontrunner,” noting only that she gave a very popular speech at a recent Romney fundraiser and that she’s sent out emails to supporters on Romney’s behalf. Other than that, however, proof remains scant.
Nevertheless, a whole host of mainstream news outlets ran wild with the Rice rumors last week. This despite the fact that Rice herself has said she’s not interested in being vice president (or being in any elected office), and the fact that many people in the GOP themselves are saying a Rice veep spot would be awful.
"I don't know who is hitting the crack rock tonight in the rumor mill, but bull shiitake mushrooms," conservative blogger Erick Erickson wrote on his RedState blog. And Mark Levin, a popular right-wing radio host, said a Rice nomination would be bad politics.”
Much of what Republicans find off-putting about Rice is her stance on abortion. Rice has in the past said that she is pro-choice, while Romney and much of his supporters want to strip abortion rights from the United States. Also hurting Rice’s chances of being a well-liked nominee is that her old boss, George W. Bush, is one of the least liked presidents ever, by both Democrats and Republicans. It would thus be pretty unwise to hire her and remind everybody about the disastrous administration she was with for eight long years.
All the reasons why she’d be a bad nominee aside, there are a couple reasons why Rice might be a good veep for Romney. The first and most obvious is that she’s Black. Having a vice president of color might get some more African-Americans interested in Romney, who bombed in front of the NAACP last week, as a serious candidate. But it’s a pipe dream to think it would draw a significant number of Black voters from Obama.
Secondly, Rice is a bit of a moderate, which might, in the past, have been seen as a good sign. Today, as many conservatives are making abundantly clear, Rice’s unwillingness to be a hard-line conservative when it comes to things like abortion makes her unfit for veep duty. Remember when having a different opinion than other people was a reasonable and, heck, even a good thing? No wonder Rice doesn’t want to get into politics. Who can blame her?
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Stone)