The political world was abuzz last night after the Drudge Report reported that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a frontrunner for Romney's running mate spot. The leak was immediately treated with a healthy dose of skepticism from the political class: Rice has said she's not interested in the job, she has no political experience, she supports abortion rights in a party that regards that as a near-litmus test, and hawks don't have fond memories of her foreign policy record in the Bush administration. Many went a stop further, mocking Drudge's track record in predicting the veepstakes (he hyped Frank Keating in 2000, Dick Gephardt in 2004, and Evan Bayh in 2008). And pundits noted the suspicious timing of the leaked news, right after Romney faced tough new questions about the timing of his tenure at Bain Capital.Rice would not draw a significant number of black votes. During her time in office, she had weak favorability numbers among African Americans. In a 2007 poll, 50 percent of African Americans rated her as a "good influence," putting her 15 points behind Al Sharpton and one point ahead of Kanye West.
But the floating of Rice sounds a lot more like a trial balloon from the Romney campaign than deliberately bad information that Drudge cooked up. Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades is famously close to Drudge, suggesting there's a deliberate strategy at play here for the campaign.
She was an architect of President Bush's Iraq policy, which gets terrible reviews from the general public.