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By Douglas Oliver
I want to go on the record early and express my personal support for Dr. Rice. She is being attacked viciously and without good reason in my view. However, there are other reasons for these attacks. I state my opinions about what may have motivated them in detail below. But let me make my position crystal clear:
I believe "Condi" Rice would make a great Vice Presidential candidate to run with President Bush in 2004.
My personal views were given a stronger foundation this morning when I read the report that is posted above from the June 24th Middle East Media Research Institute. It quoted from the Palestinian Daily Al-Ayyam which called Ms. Rice "The Woman of Steel." Quoting briefly from that source:
Sounds like strong words of respect and even rare praise are being used by the Palestinian Daily. Not wishing to mislead my readers, I must confess to redacting some of that report's less favorable comments about our President. (You may read the full report on your own).
But the tone of the report has already had its impact in the Arab world. It may also have reached the ears of certain Democratic candidates who have announced they are in the running for next year's election. You may rest assured that former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton have already reacted to this report. They must have huddled with key party leaders late last month before the famous "talking points" were draw up for Democratic members of Congress. The Clinton team is very bright and very well prepared. They are masterful politicians. They prepare well in advance and study every option. They formulate tactics carefully and take multiple positions on every issue. They surround each major campaign issue with stated positions until they virtually have no single weakness.
I believe that Bill and Hillary were behind the "dump Rice" rumors floating around Washington in the past week.
Are there other motivations behind these rumors? Perhaps there is some uncertainty in Bill and Hillary's minds about the physical condition of Vice President Dick Cheney. He has a known heart condition. Perhaps they want to raise Cheney's health as an issue again. Perhaps they feel they will have new ammunition with which to attack the current Vice President or believe they may have "conflict of interest" issues to raise over contracts awarded to certain companies to rebuild Iraq. Perhaps there are other negative issues that only certain high level Democrats know about and may wish to use in 2004. Let me stress again that Bill and Hillary are masterful at identifying their opponents' potential weaknesses and exploiting them carefully.
Which bring me to one major point I want to underline in my prescient commentary: Hillary Clinton will run for President next year. While the rest of the field is wearing itself out she will be waiting in the wings and positioning herself to come to the rescue of her party. She leads as the favorite in all the polls. It is almost inevitable.
My second major argument: What better way to cut the feet out from under Hillary's campaign than for Bush to have Condi Rice by his side as the next Vice President? She is a strong Black woman. She is very smart. She has excellent credentials. She is respected in the Arab world. And, I believe she will pull Black voters out of their chairs to vote for the Republican Party next year.
That prospect really frightens Democrats. Take my word for it. They are very concerned. I know this for a fact because I raised the possibility myself with a Democratic advisor recently. The only comment that escaped his lips before he clammed up was, "Bush would be unbeatable."
Posted by Douglas Oliver on July 28, 2003 at 10:25 AM