Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why Condi won't be VP

Right now there’s some chatter about the idea that Mitt Romney could pick Condoleezza Rice to be his running-mate.

Some things more likely to happen? Jim Lehrer comes out of retirement to host "The Price is Right", Coldplay writes a song that doesn’t end with Chris Martin wailing in a falsetto that sounds like a camel in heat, and Ron Paul ghostwrites the sequel to It Takes A Village.

There are so many reasons Condi for Veep won’t happen, but the biggest and only one necessary is that she’s pro-choice.

That kills even the vaguest shot, and especially this year.

Here’s why.

First, Romney has spent the last six years trying to convince social conservatives that he's really, truly, actually, and honestly pro-life. Why would he destroy all of that by picking Condi? And make no mistake about it, all of that would be destroyed within ten minutes of announcing the pick.

And think about this. If John McCain opted out of picking the pro-choice Joe Lieberman because it would inspire full-scale revolt with the base, do you really think Romney would dare?

Mitt is a nominee who’s played it safe at every point in his political career, and McCain was one of the most daring/reckless nominees in history. Again, why would the safe guy hire Les Miles to coach his team?

Second, Romney wants to talk about the economy; not social issues.

If he picked the first pro-choice Republican VP in history, what do you think people would be talking about this fall? Condi’s views on abortion would dominate every news cycle and, in some violation of the universe’s laws and sleep, create a 26/8 news cycle.

Barack Obama’s team would die laughing from its good fortune.

Picking Condi would ensure the election wasn’t about the economy or Obama’s record, and Romney could actually lose ground with independents. After all, the main reason people support him is because of his economic message. If that's diluted by social controversy, why back the unlikable guy?

Condi would help reelect Barack Obama. That’s not what vice-presidents from the other party are supposed to do.

Third, we all know the media would love a Condi pick. Not just because of the historic nature of it, but because it generally rewards moderation with praise. But when did the media’s buzz help a moderate GOP candidate? Don’t ask me. Call Jon Huntsman.

Now – Condi supporters will likely point to CNN’s recent poll putting her at the top of Republicans’ wish list, but I bet about 25% of the 26% who put here there didn’t know that she’s pro-choice.

There’s one more point to make on all this.

Every four years, we seem to regularly hear a bunch of speculation that a Republican nominee might pick a pro-choice VP (Lieberman, Tom Ridge etc., in years past), but there’s never similar speculation about whether a Democrat will pick a pro-life candidate.


Because NARAL, NOW, and the entire Left base would go nuts, and everyone knows that, and no one even thinks it's worth talking about. Well, same thing with the Republican side.

I suspect that one reason why people even entertain the idea that a Republican might pick a pro-choice candidate is only so they can then immediately make a point about how insufferably intransigent and partisan those pro-lifers are. They know posts like this one will be written, and they like it.

In essence, it’s a straw man, and if you notice, you rarely hear any speculation about how insufferably intransigent and partisan those pro-choicers are, because no one floats the idea of a pro-life Democratic VP.

The fact is that both sides are equally stubborn on abortion, and shouldn’t that be the case?

If they really believe what they believe, why would either side be happy-go-lucky with an offensive choice?