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Had it not been for the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's ill-fated and inaccurate speech at the United Nations regarding Iraq having nuclear weapons the United States may have never been convinced to authorize force be used in Iraq. After that point, any hopes he may have ever had of winning the Republican nomination for president of the United States were over. With his political departure went the last great hope of any African American of ever gaining the grand ol' party's universal support for a run at the White House. Or has it?
Condoleezza Rice, who replaced Powell as Secretary of State after serving as National Security Adviser has an impressive resume that measures up favorably against the credentials of many of the Republican presidential and vice presidential hopefuls who have been paraded before the conservative voting block over the past four elections. Rice is on the record as being for education reform, and is for same sex civil unions but not gay marriage. While she considers herself a Libertarian, some consider her a moderate. Some conservatives would second that because of her relative left-leaning approach to some domestic issues. But whoa nelly!, when it comes to bringing the full extent of U.S. firepower to the doorstep of America's enemies there's no candidate on the GOP radar screen quite like Condoleezza Rice.
Like many of us, Rice grew up during the Cold War when the threat of nuclear annihilation was real and palpable. She would attend Denver University where her interest in diplomacy was sparked by international politics professor Josef Korbel, father of future secretary of state Madeline Albright. Rice's being influenced by Korbel is one of those signature moments in life. Had she not met Korbel, who knows? In the late 70s, President Jimmy Carter's presidency was floundering and so was the world's image of the United States. The Iran hostages were held in captivity for 444 days, the Soviet's caught the world off guard when they invaded Afghanistan in 1980, and the OPEC cartel's influence at the gas pumps was killing the American economy. These socio-economic circumstances were key in helping shape Ms. Rice's world view. She vehemently disagreed with the Carter administration's policies. Her father, who became a Republican because Democrats weren't registering blacks in the 1950s, helped a young Condoleezza chose her eventual political affiliation. After being a Democrat all of her adult life, Rice switched to the Republican Party in 1982.
Almost from the moment she entered it Condi became active in the Republican Party and was widely recognized as the smartest person in the room more often than not. Rice would later be reared under the wings of the very best examples of diplomacy her party could offer. Rice worked directly under former Secretary of State George Schultz (served under Reagan), Secretary of State James Baker (served under George H.W. Bush) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Each of these men are proponents of the use of American military might to advance the country's interests overseas. Said Schultz "Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table" when describing why he would not enter in talks with then socialist dictator Daniel Ortega's Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the 80s. George Schultz is also an advocate of "preventive war", as is Rice. It is clear that Rice's presidential candidacy would highlight her real world experience practicing international politics as the National Security Adviser , where she earned the nickname "Warrior Princess", and Secretary of State under George W. Bush.
A Republican candidate with ties to her party's last three presidential administrations would normally have a bit of a leg up on competition from within that party, as well as any other. However, many of the causes she championed during her time under President George W. Bush were controversial at best, considered colossal failures at worst. Her policy of Transformational Democracy, a policy in which alliances and negotiations are driven by the real threat of military power, is a primary reason why the United States became engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq. Any opposing candidate will be certain to go for the jugular during a debate. With the rabid nature of modern day politics, and the rippling effect of political blogs and talk radio, Rice's past sins are certain to come back to haunt her in the form of snarky commentary and Hollywood-style attack ads replaying her infamous quotes regarding Saddam Hussein's alleged WMDs and the soon dispelled notion that Iraq was seeking yellow cake uranium from Niger.
Source: EURWeb.com | Ricardo A. Hazell