Forecast

4 reasons Mitt Romney won't pick Condi Rice as VP

The former secretary of State is reportedly a frontrunner to be Romney's running mate, but many doubt she's right for the ticket

On Thursday, the Drudge Report reported that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had emerged as a frontrunner in the race to be Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick — even though she's repeatedly disavowed any interest in the job. Analysts agree that the exceedingly experienced Rice would bring many positives to the ticket: She's a foreign-policy heavyweight widely respected in many conservative circles and the highest-ranking black woman ever to serve in government. But she also has some crucial drawbacks. (So many that some pundits suspect the Romney campaign, which has ties to Drudge, planted the story like "a shiny object... to distract" political reporters from the latest Bain controversy, says Dan Amira at New York.) Here, four reasons Romney won't pick Rice:

1. She supports abortion rights
"Last I checked, Condi's pro-choice," says Allahpundit at Hot Air. With Rice on the ticket, Romney would create a "headache with social conservatives that he could have avoided by picking a veep from the 98 percent or so of prominent Republican officials" who are anti-abortion. And even if Rice were to change her position, that would only mean "that instead of having one candidate on the ticket whose reversal on abortion seems mighty opportunistic, we'll have two."

2. She's tied to Bush
Tapping Rice "would be opening the door to a set of attacks that President Obama and Democrats are already eager to make: That a Romney administration would be nothing more than a third Bush term," says Michael D. Shear at The New York Times. Furthermore, Rice was a chief cheerleader for the war in Iraq, and "Democrats would be happy to remind swing voters of their anger over the war." Romney certainly won't want Iraq hanging around his neck.

3. She would be a novice candidate
Rice "has never run for anything," says Ramesh Ponnuru at The National Review. "Yes, she has been in the public eye" as secretary of State and national security advisor, but "running for office, let alone the vice presidency, is a very different experience — one she may not be ready for." Rice has always focused on foreign policy, meaning there are a whole host of issues that she has rarely discussed in public, such as same-sex marriage and cuts to Medicare.

4. She's not an attack dog
On the campaign trail, the vice presidential candidate is often expected to bring an "attack-dog mentality" to the race, says Shear. Joe Biden has proved particularly adept at the task, flinging cutting zingers at Romney in nearly every stump speech. It's hard to imagine Rice doing the same thing. She typically speaks "in measured tones and with a discipline that comes from both academia and diplomacy."

Sources: Drudge Report, Hot Air, The National ReviewNew York, The New York TimesPolitico

Read more political coverage at The Week's 2012 Election Center.

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