July 09, 2004

The Condi Chronicles

More SecState auditioning going on.

But does she merit promotion to the 7th Floor after her stewardship at the NSC?

Speaking of, who would replace her at the NSC?

And please tell me there aren't another four years of Rummy in store?

P.S. Condi as Veep smarter?

She sure knows more than Edwards about foreign policy; and she has better hair...

...then Lugar at State and McCain at Defense? Just thoughts--not, er, formal endorsements!

Comments welcome.

UPDATE: In haste (in transit through Sunday night), but let's throw Chuck Hagel into the ring for consideration re: SecState too....

Posted by Gregory at July 9, 2004 12:06 PM

Powell at DoD becuase he has the experience and political knowhow to run it better. McCain at State so he can go visit Vietnam and tell them to do to themselves what Cheney told that Demcrat.......

Posted by: Dave T at July 9, 2004 12:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

would powell stick around for a second Bush 43 term?

Posted by: gd at July 9, 2004 01:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Since her performance at the NSC has shown a cheerful willingness to be stampeded by more forceful personalities, Rice as SecState would be a dream come true for those who want the State Department to vanish into utter irrelevance. With Rice in charge over at Foggy Bottom, a second Bush administration could totally outsource all diplomacy and foreign policy tasks to the Pentagon, a few think tanks, and interns from the Weekly Standard.

As for other candidates, Schwarzenegger would certainly get some attention...

Posted by: Matt at July 9, 2004 02:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Richard Armitage would sh*t in his pants if she were made SecState over him.

And he'd be right to do so.

Posted by: praktike at July 9, 2004 03:08 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

not sure armitage cares to serve w/out powell around. not sure powell wants to stick around. condi has been pretty lousy on some levels--especially creating coordinated policy as btwn state-defense. she likely doesn't deserve state.

but who really, does? lugar might be too much a hide-bound traditionalist...

Posted by: jab at July 9, 2004 04:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


CARTER AT THE UN (or Joe Wilson or BJ Clinton)
ZBIG BACK AT THE NSC (or Rand Beers)


Posted by: dan at July 9, 2004 06:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Condi as veep is smarter. First, she would be good at whatever she tried. Second, it would help get some black and women votes.

Posted by: jeff at July 9, 2004 08:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

State needs a Rumsfeldlike character to start asking unpleasant questions and risk the wrath of the Arabists and the like. Condi is less than ideal, both because she's not enough like Rumsfeld, and she'd be missed at NSC, but is probably the best choice. She could assume Powell's role as good cop while hopefully making some needed hirings and firings. Keep Cheney as VP!

Posted by: Lloyd at July 9, 2004 09:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No, Condi is not going to the Seventh Floor. People at State probably don't like her, as she is too close to Bush. As Bush's alter ego, she makes a much better fit as VP. Once she's out of the White House and at Foggy Bottom, the long knives would come out from down in the Departments.

Condi's stay was seen as ineffective by some precisely because Bush, for reasons best known to him, wanted Condi Rice as his final arbiter. Bush has this Great Leap Forward view of foreign policy making ("Let 100 flowers bloom, let 1,000 schools of thought contend...") that, in effect, leaves Rumsfeld and Powell constantly fighting each other for power, with George Tenet trying to cover his ass.

Rice never intervened in this because Bush didn't want her to intervene. Had he given her express power to crack heads, she would have done so. Just because the National Security Act calls for her to crack heads doesn't mean she has the actual power to do so. Only Bush can give her that. I don't think he ever did because he wanted her around as his personal advisor. She is no shrinking violet, and would have had no problem bringing Bush's imprimatur to bear. If one has problems with Rice's performance, one needs to look at the man with the power, first.

Rice is ambitious, and thought of very highly within the Party apparatus. I am of the opinion that there is a rude surprise in store for Mr. Kerry about the time that he is getting around to finishing up his acceptance speech. Rice has gained something few people have in D.C.; the absolute, unconditional trust of George Bush.
She hasn't cultivated that trust and that friendship so she can get thrown into the viper pit at Foggy Bottom in the Second Term. She has seen how powerless SecStates can become, first with William Rogers, followed by Cy Vance, and then finally Warren Christopher.

She wants to be President someday. So does Hillary Clinton. You don't fulfill your ambitions by being stuck on the other side of town.

Be Seeing You,


Posted by: section9 at July 9, 2004 11:18 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Condi 4 Veep, definitely. She's tough, smart, & articulate. Not to sound Machiavellian, but it's smart for Republicans to push minority candidates, because it puts the lie to the idea that the Dems have that locked up. And it drives liberals insane.

But I fear Bush suffers Nixon's fatal loyalty. How can he have the vision to take on the Taliban & Saddam, but not see the wisdom of a new vp? Move Cheney to an admin post, the veep doesn't do much anyway. After all, Al Gore was veep back before he went insane, and I don't recall him doing much of anything.

Is nobody in the party telling Bush this stuff??

Posted by: jeff at July 10, 2004 01:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

jeff asks: "How can he have the vision to take on the Taliban & Saddam, but not see the wisdom of a new vp?"

That's the million-dollar question. If Bush is really on top of things, he'll say: "Dick, let's just give your old ticker a rest for the next four years and you spend your afternoons fly fishing and reading whatever the Military Book Club sends you while I hold down the fort here, how 'bout it?"

If he doesn't, then it means he's totally dependent on Cheney and, like you suggest, he's made a fetish of loyalty.

Posted by: Matt at July 10, 2004 02:48 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Not veep. Condi has never held elective office; her position has been one of policymaker and chief advisor, not executive so much. (The paradox here is that she's well-qualified to be a strong vice-president, but not, I think, to be president - and the veep's main purpose is to serve as a hot-swappable backup. It's why I'm disappointed by the choice of Edwards: I don't think he's qualified for the presidency, and the vice president really ought to be.)

I myself would be so tempted to put Rummy in State, at least for a year or so - long enough to crack heads together and remind certain people that they're supposed to be working for the people of the United States, not the House of Saud. The steam coming from Foggy Bottom heads, if harnessed by appropriate turbines, would guarantee energy independence for this country.

But if we're talking about the effect on the election, swapping out Ashcroft for, say, Rudy would be worth a few percentage points, I'd think. Ashcroft has been unjustly demonized over silly things, plus pernicious religious bigotry, but I don't think the justice department has covered itself with glory during his tenure, and I don't like the man's sense of priorities. (We're at war and he spends time protecting us from the scourge of Internet bong sales? Please.)

Posted by: jaed at July 10, 2004 08:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I love Rudy, but it may be worth remembering that he was Ashcroft before Ashcroft was - prior to 9/11, NYC was a gulag, an oppressive, apartheid police state, if I remember the lefty rhetoric correctly. 41 shots, and more.

Wall Street was not a full fan of his in the 80's, either, although that's not a bug, it's a feature.

As to the various senators mentioned, don't we have to check to see whether they have a home stae Rep governor to appoint their replacement? IIRC, McCain is a problem for that reason. I have no idea who the governor is for Nebraska (I think Kerrey was once, but I don't even want to remember that much about what I am sure is a great state...)

Posted by: Tom Maguire at July 11, 2004 04:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Tom is right that McCain won't get a Cabinet position because Arizona's governor is a Democrat. McCain is running for reelection this year, so if Bush wanted him in the Cabinet, it would make sense for McCain to drop out of the race and let another Republican run. The GOP wouldn't have much trouble holding on to the seat (Kyl was reelected in 2000 with nearly 80% of the vote) and Bush could use the media's favorite Republican more heavily in his campaign. Since McCain is running for reelection, picking him for Secretary of Defense is just wishful thinking.

Posted by: Bradley Rolfes at July 12, 2004 04:20 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


I agree. The State stables need cleaning. Rumsfeld could do it. So could Cheney (w/Rice or Giuliani moving into the VP role).

Posted by: ras at July 12, 2004 07:48 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

How about Cheney as DCI, since we're dreaming?

It's true NYC Dems (and a fair number of Republicans too) did not like Rudy. However, 1) that was then, this is now, and he gets a lot more credit by contrast with Bloomberg, and 2) this is a national election and so his performance on 9/11 will matter more (it being the first time most people outside NYC had paid any attention to the man).

Posted by: jaed at July 12, 2004 09:30 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"How about Cheney as DCI, since we're dreaming?"

I've made that same suggestion in comments to a couple of other blogs, and will continue to do so every chance I get. Fixing CIA is going to take someone very tough. Cheney has what's needed. Condi Rice, as the incumbent V.P., could be just the ticket to keep HRC out of the White House four years from now.

Posted by: bdfaith at July 12, 2004 11:01 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I would rather see Condi as the VP candidate. I would love to hear how Jackson, Sharpton, the NAACP, et al explain that electing Condi is bad for blacks, when in the past they have had no compunction against supporting any black candiate, regardless of qualification or character as long as that person was a Democrat. I want to see them have to explicitly state what it is that trumps race, in their minds, as a qualification for office.

I'm sure they would explain their opposition to Condi as opposition to the "evil" of GWB, but how would they explain why this out weighs the positioning of a black women as a leading candidate for President in 2008?

Posted by: Daniel at July 12, 2004 02:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If I had to predict, I'd say Armitage goes to CIA, Condi to State, Blackwill to NSC, and Powell to pasture. Rumsfeld stays.

Posted by: praktike at July 12, 2004 03:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think Rummy has to go at DoD. He did the shake up there that needed doing and now a more concliatory personality needs to step in Cheney or Powell would both be good choices.

I like Condi for VP Rummy would certainly make needed changes at State but would create instant bad will for this administration. Two years tops

Posted by: tallan at July 13, 2004 03:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Posted by: texas holdem at October 14, 2004 04:37 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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