According to Senor, Rice has been cozying up to the Republican elite.Umm...I used to be an intern at ATR, and I attended those meetings every week during my tenure there. Since I wasn't there for Secretary Rice's visit, I can't say for certain that she didn't talk about the veepstakes, but I highly doubt it. It is much more likely that she came to this meeting to talk about how free trade can help ensure democracy in states like Columbia, as ATR is a forum more suited for that discussion than the veepstakes discussion. It is true that, if she fielded questions, this could have been brought up, but, like I said, highly unlikely.
“There's this ritual in Washington: The Americans for Tax Reform, which is headed by Grover Norquist, he holds a weekly meeting of conservative leaders -- about 100, 150 people, sort of inside, chattering, class types,” Senor said. “They all typically get briefings from political conservative leaders. Ten days ago, they had an interesting visit -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- the first time a secretary of state has visited the Wednesday meeting.”
And, while we're on the subject, it's also highly unlikely that Sen. McCain would choose her. The last thing he needs is more "McCain = Bush's Third Term" ammunition for the left. On top of that, the conservative base isn't exactly enamored with her treatment of the Palestinian Authority, and she is rumored to be pro-choice (although this might make it more likely that McCain would choose her). This leaves out the fact that she has never campaigned actively for any office.
McCain was asked today about Secretary Rice:
"I did not hear that. I missed those signals," McCain said. "I think she's a great American, I think there's very little that I can say that isn't anything but the utmost praise for a great American citizen, who served as a role model to so many millions of people in this country and around the world. But as I mentioned to you, we're not talking about the process because it just then gets into things that could easily to spill over into an invasion of privacy."First of all, if Rice was actively seeking the slot, I would think that McCain would have heard about it by now. Secondly, as highlighted, it would take away his talking point about how he spoke out against how the Iraq war was managed. How can you both put someone at the bottom of the ticket and say that they are partly responsible for a years-long mismanagement of a war?
Asked whether Secretary Rice's role in the Iraq War should be taken into account, McCain said that all those who were involved in the failed strategy in Iraq "bear some responsibility".
So, while I may have been pushing for a President Rice just a few scant years ago, I now think that having her anywhere on the ticket might be a mistake. I like her, but I just don't think its a feasible choice.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty adds his skepticism.