According to a new book Dick Morris wrote with Eileen McGann, the only way Hillary Clinton will be defeated in the 2008 presidential race is if the Republicans nominate Condoleezza Rice. (Morris acknowledges that Rudy Giuliani could win a general election, but says that the Republicans will never nominate him). In an interview about the book on National Review Online, Morris says:
(Condi) would take away a third to a half of the black vote and would stop Hillary from gaining among white women. White men are a given. They will vote against Hillary by 2-1 as they voted against Gore and against Kerry. But blacks and white women are the moving pieces of this electoral puzzle.
I have to take anything Morris says with a grain of salt, especially since he’s made a career of fueling conservative paranoia about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. The Condi Rice angle will help to sell books, I’m sure.
I admire Rice and would give her a fair hearing should she run for president, but I would be surprised if she did run. She strikes me as more of a scholar than a politician. It would seem more likely that after her stint as Secretary of State she would go back to academia, join a think tank and/or write books. But let’s say she does run. She has no campaign experience and her views on many issues are unknown. Her candidacy could turn into a Wesley Clark type situation. There was a brief period when the idea of nominating a an anti-war former general to take on Bush excited many Democrats. But his appeal quickly fizzled after a short time on the campaign trail. Don’t get me wrong, Rice may well turn out to be a stellar candidate and she is certainly one person who I would never want to count out. I’m just not ready to say that she would definitely win the presidency because of the demographic benefits of being a black female conservative candidate.