13. Condoleeza Rice

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

GOP think-tankers who concentrate primarily on foreign policy would love to see Condoleeza Rice run for president. And in light of the past five-plus years under the Obama administration’s blunders, who wouldn’t rejoice to see her foreign policy acumen once again leading the nation?

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice

But it’s going to be 2016, not September 11, 2001.

And like it or not, that’s the problem.

Condoleeza Rice proved herself and her ability to lead under fire, beginning in the first George W. Bush term as the president’s foreign policy adviser before being promoted to Secretary of State after General Colin Powell left the administration for its second term.

Unlike the man she replaced (Powell), Rice has proven not to be so addicted to the national spotlight that she’d cozy up to whoever’s in power. She doesn’t seek out seats at Democratic events as Powell does. And those are both good and important qualities.

The trouble comes in when you look beyond foreign policy. Despite serving in the Bush Administration until the bitter end, a full eight years in the public eye, and another five-plus years having passed since then, the most we know about Ms. Rice outside of a foreign policy setting is that she’d dearly love to replace Roger Goodell as the commissioner of the National Football League someday.

That’s great, but foreign policy and football alone do not a president make. The big fear seems to be that if she ever revealed her domestic policy stances, she’d come across sounding more like Barack Obama, rather than George W. Bush… to say nothing of a real small-government conservative like Ronald Reagan.

What’s with the guessing game? Sure, she’s in the private sector again (more or less, if you count academia as the private sector), but after twelve years one should expect to know whether she believes in limited or expansive government; whether she favors budget cuts and tax reform over budgeting by continuing resolutions and out-of-control spending; let alone whether, as a woman, she supports or opposes the Roe v. Wade decision and/or same-sex unions.

The fact that the most we know about her outside of foreign policy is based off what smart people speculate about her, rather than anything she herself has written or said, is precisely why she’s appearing outside of the top dozen slots in my list. Condoleeza Rice brings a ton of qualifications to bear if she were ever to run for the presidency; but unless she’s willing to open up, make her views known, and defend them, moderates and conservatives alike can only view her with mistrust, not knowing whether she’d be an ally or an adversary if elected.

Next, we’ll move on to our select “dirty dozen” names. I hate putting them down in order like I am, because new information comes to light all the time and someone you once viewed as relatively conservative can prove unreliable with a single key vote. (Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan, anyone?)

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