Rice veep pick would prompt panic at DNC
By Neal Larson
In recent days, two callers to my radio show have declared who the vice presidential candidate will be. One, who insisted he possessed inside knowledge and that I would remember his call once Romney made the announcement, declared congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is the choice. The other caller, who happens to be a good friend and gifted political analyst, seemed certain Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is the pick.
Months ago, with equal certainty, I believed South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley would balance the ticket. So much for consensus among experts and insiders.
Among the paradoxically lengthy “short list” is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. At this writing, the Internet is abuzz with speculation that she could be the pick. Ann Romney has hinted that she’d like to see a woman selected. Further speculation has mounted that Rice is under serious consideration after she brought down the house at Romney’s recent Park City fundraiser. I’ve discounted Rice as a possibility simply because she has said fairly emphatically that she’s not interested. Despite her personal reluctance, she indicated — if asked to serve in such a capacity — she would very much consider it, not for career, but for country. A rare and valuable temperament.
Beyond the critical principled reasons for selecting a vice president, she makes tremendous political sense. Choosing Condoleezza Rice insulates Romney against attacks that he’s insensitive to black interests and weak among women. No running mate is a slam dunk on sensitive racial and gender issues, but she gets as close as any. While blacks are expected to overwhelmingly vote to re-elect President Obama, a Rice selection appeals to white independents who may suffer from racial guilt, which they could alleviate by voting for the Romney-Rice, albeit Republican, ticket. The DNC will have to put their gender and race cards back in the drawer for a future game of political poker.
In truth, liberals truly believe we conservatives are a bunch of racist rednecks hell bent on making sure only white men run the country for generations to come. They believe that we throw token blacks into the mix like Clarence Thomas, Allen West, J.C. Watts, Herman Cain, and, yes, Condoleezza Rice because we have to, as a disingenuous gesture to “prove” we value diversity. It never occurs to them that we genuinely look up to these men and women, not because they’re black, but because they are competent, courageous, and successful. We judge others on the content of their character and their constructive contributions, not the color of their skin.
Black conservatives scare and anger the left because they shatter a powerful myth used by far too many political leaders, that blacks are incapable on their own of rising to realms of prominence and influence without the aid of government programs and race-based political causes. Rice, Thomas, West, Cain, Watts, et. al. seem to make Sharpton and Jackson obsolete, an unthinkable status for those who make a living generating racial victims. It’s not that racism no longer exists, but that the highest of human spirits are more deeply motivated, not conquered, by whatever racism still exists. They refuse to be owned, neither by a southern 1860’s slave owner, nor a modern day race victim creator. They are their own person, truly free. As conservatives we honor and are inspired by the individually liberated souls no matter their color. They bow to nobody, and that is their great crime among the left. Black conservatives are the modern day versions of Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks.
I have no idea if Condoleezza Rice will be chosen as the vice presidential nominee, but if she is, we will most certainly discover if the left truly supports the elevation of blacks and women based on merit, and not on political affiliation.
Neal Larson, of Idaho Falls, is a conservative talk show host on KID Newsradio 590am and 92.1fm. “The Neal Larson Show” can be heard weekday mornings from 8:30 to 10:00. His email address is email@example.com.