So last night was Condi Rice’s national political coming-out party (don’t start with the jokes).
Her speech was impassioned, intelligent, and she did all that without a teleprompter. She has shown to be a capable leader with an innovative vision for this county.
So what is her path from here? Two-fold, in my opinion: (see also: 10 Reasons Condi Should Run for Governor)
1. She takes a Cabinet position in a Romney administration (my preference: Education), serves through Romney’s first term, and then runs against her “good friend” Barbara Boxer in 2016, setting herself up for the 2020/24 nomination
2. She runs for Governor of California in 2014, serves a term or two, and sets herself up for 2020/24.
If Romney loses, she could easily be the frontrunner for the 2016 nod, and at the least, the top of the shortlist for VP.
She has proven an ability to be LOVED by the GOP grassroots and rise beyond her association with the Bush administration. How, I don’t know? But she is capable.
With Condoleezza Rice’s speech last night generating almost as much interest as Paul Ryan’s, former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring seizes the opportunity to make the case for a gubernatorial run in 2014:
· She has the respect of the Republican volunteer and donor communities. The donors would step up, and it would be easy to fill the headquarters and cover the precincts.
· Her public speaking skills are powerful, as demonstrated by her speech to the Convention.
· Her personal story is compelling, growing up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama and rising to hold one of the most critical posts in our government.
· In academia and government service, her background denies the Democrats their favorite lines of attack that were most effectively used against Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in 2010. Yet, she has management experience as Stanford’s Provost in the 1990’s, turning a $20 million deficit into a surplus in two years. …
· Barbara Boxer attacked Rice in relation to her role in the war in Iraq. The occasional hits she’s taken from the right are exclusively in the area of foreign policy – not particularly relevant in the role of Governor.
California Republicans have seen their party decline to the point of irrelevance in recent years and it may be that they need a wildly outside-the-box figure — Rice or someone else — to revive their fortunes.