Condoleezza Rice has explicitly said she’s not vying to be Romney’s VP choice.
“I don’t see myself in any way in elective office,” Rice said to “CBS This Morning.”
Does that stop the media from broad and wild speculation? Of course not. What else would the 24-hour-news-cycle-organizations occupy their time with if they didn’t speculate like Ufologists at Area 51? While some point out the clear benefits of bland Romney choosing an experienced, recognizable and respectable running-mate, most conservative commentators are devolving into panic attacks.
Why the panic? Why are conservatives calling up Romney’s campaign and begging him to choose someone else?
Because Rice identifies as “mildly pro-choice.” That’s right, folks. Rice echoes the ambiguous perspective of many conservative and moderate Republicans who don’t have a clear-cut perspective on abortion, but do think it should be an option in a civilized society. She’s against later-term abortion, but doesn’t think the procedure should be illegal.
We in the pro-choice community are generally ok with having a conversation about the “gray areas.” We understand that a personal stance is not the same as a legal stance and try to accommodate a broad range of perspectives so that we can have open and welcoming discussions about the many challenging decisions women have to face regarding their pregnancies.
But in politics – in presidential races – gray areas aren’t so great, especially for the likely Republican nominee whose personality is already hard to pin down.
But (here’s where I get to speculate) even if he had been a staunch “pro-life” supporter since he emerged from his mother’s womb waving obnoxious bumper stickers that proclaimed his mom “chose life,” it is unlikely that anti-choice activists would support the hypothetical Rice choice. The anti-choice stance isn’t about options and decision-making; and certainly not rationality. The rhetoric of the anti-choice community is meant to instill blind-to-reason fear so much that – even within the conservative community – there isn’t much allowance for leaders to feel complicated about their stances.
Rice has proved herself to be not only competent, but impressive in her leadership. Her stance as a black woman leader would also appeal to supporters that Romney is desperately lacking. But, because of the stubbornness of the anti-choice backers of the GOP (and…erm…just maybe Rice’s own lack of enthusiasm for joining in the race) Romney would be committing political suicide to select her as an established and renowned running-mate. It is time for Republicans to allow pro-choice contenders into their political races.
Because I am voting for the pro-choice candidate, I’m not too concerned that Romney is getting the short-end of the stick on his VP options.