The Drudge Report today has been running with the headline "Romney Narrows VP Choices; Condi Emerges as Frontrunner."
While as PolicyMic Editor Michael Luciano has pointed out in another article, Matt Drudge has an awful track record of predicting VP picks, if Mitt Romney and his team are smart, they will pursue Condoleezza Rice for the ticket by all means necessary.
I say by all means necessary because Condi is on the record multiple times claiming zero interest in elected office. However, no other name brought forward so far for the VP slot will bring out the passion in the GOP base and strengthen the ticket quite like Condi would. Romney and his team should do everything they can to convince her to come aboard.
In this election, other than Romney's record at Bain, (which has proven to be a shaky argument at best - shown in these Washington Post factcheckers: 1, 2, 3, 4), the left has really only had two themes to use against Romney: he "War on Women," which was an effective attack, despite the fact it was really specific to Rick Santorum, who has kindly disappeared, and "Racism" as seen constantly on MSNBC here, here, and again this past Wednesday night.
Having a black woman on the ticket would make it tough to maintain those lines of attack, as ridiculous as they are already. But far more importantly is what Rice would mean for the Republican base and Independents.
Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal describes this election well. America is in a dire situation, and everyone recognizes the need for exemplary leadership to get us out of this mess. Everyone also realizes that neither Obama, nor Romney offer what we need. Certainly they're smart enough, and no one denies that Romney has the experience and skill set for solving a fundamentally financial problem. But leading a country is more than that, and a balanced federal budget means little when no one is inspired enough to weather the storm of program cuts and taxes increases and tough decisions needed to truly fix the problem. You've got to really love a politician to be OK with them cutting your pension and raising your taxes.
Condi Rice as broad appeal. As a successful black woman with an indisputably impressive academic career and pedigree, extensive experience in foreign policy, (the only person on either ticket to boast such expertise), and on top of that a personal life that sparkles in comparison to the average DC insider, the Democrats will be hard-pressed to find faults with her. Even her record within the Bush administration is one marked with restraint. She played a role similar to Colin Powell, acting as the sole dissenting voice among the Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld trifecta during Bush's second term.
While the Chris Christies, Marco Rubios, and Bobby Jindals of the Republican Party all stumble over themselves to get noticed, she sits quietly on the sidelines, yet still casts the largest shadow. One which none of the Republicans currently running for office, or hoping to get scooped up by Romney, have a snowballs chance of stepping out of.
And finally, she will bring a "certain something" to the GOP ticket. With Obama we've got something different. He's youthful, charismatic, not a typical empty suit, and he's accompanied by his complete polar opposite, an old white man, but the kind of old white man who slaps your back a little too hard when you meet him and buys you one more beer than its safe for you to drink. For all Romney's accomplishments, he is about as bland as chicken and rice. Other than Condi, Chris Christie would put on a show, but using the VP slot for an attack dog is the last thing this country needs right now, and from an operational stand point, Christie stops being useful once the election is over (he'd still be more useful than Biden though). Besides, my home state of New Jersey needs him more anyway.
Really, Rice is the ONLY potential VP mentioned in the last few months who adds any benefit to the ticket. But she doesn't just add a little. Putting Rice on the ticket would make her the star of the show. She's far more dynamic and interesting than Romney, and getting the cameras off Romney's vanilla routine for a bit will help with his appeal tremendously.
Anyone else on the ticket, and people will be stuck with Obama +1 vs Romney +1. But with Rice, a vote in the GOP column is as much a vote for her, as it is for him.