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Does Condi Heart Barack? She’ll Never Tell

This is part two of an installment on the varying opinions of black conservatives, moderates and Republicans on Barack Obama where The Snob searches for answers to her privy: Will black Republicans be playing on Team Obama come the general? On Sunday conservative pundit Amy Holmes went up for bat. Today we take a look at Condoleezza Rice’s words and thoughts on Obama.

Before I can talk about Condoleezza Rice, I have to dump some of my own racial, gender Condi psycho-drama in your lap. Apologies. I’m incapable of writing about the woman without a disclaimer.

Condoleezza Rice has always been a bit of conundrum for me as a Liberal and as a black woman. On one hand, I think she’s done a horrible job, both as National Security Adviser and presently as the Secretary of State. She spent far too much time trying to warp the reality to her bosses world view than give him an unvarnished look at things. Yet, I bristle when people attack Rice on things other than her foreign policy decisions.

Translation: If you tell me you think Condoleezza Rice has compromised her integrity for her bosses ego fine by me. But if you attack her personally I’m pretty appalled. Mostly because a person can be wrong and you can still address their issues without resorting to accusing her of wanting to destroy the world because she can’t get laid. I’m pretty sure that if Condi wanted a man she would have one. And secondly, I don’t think it’s anyone’s damn business. No one ever asks these questions of men. Somehow your martial status past 35 becomes fair game if you’re a woman who is dedicated to her career. After all, no one concludes Vice President Dick Cheney wants to destroy the world because he’s overweight and the rest of the world is thinner than him.

And translation of that translation: Condi and I effectively come from the same background, the black middle class. I know what it’s like for people to make up assumptions about you based on the flimsiest of guises. I don’t have to agree with her politics to emphasize with her. No one knows how complicated it is to be a black woman more than other black women.

But what does Condoleezza Rice think of Obama? Would she side with her political ideology or would she find it hard to not be swayed by Obama’s historic quest, one that in some ways was similar to her own as she ventured to become the first black woman secretary of state.

Let’s take a look at the tape.

Rice on Obama’s speech about race in America:

While saying repeatedly she did not want to talk about the election campaign — “I don’t do politics” — and also reiterating her lack of interest in the vice presidential slot, Rice said the United States had a hard time dealing with racial issues.

“There is a paradox for this country and a contradiction of this country and we still haven’t resolved it,” she said in a detailed reply to questions about Obama and race issues as a whole before next week’s 40th anniversary of the slaying of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

“But what I would like understood as a black American is that black Americans loved and had faith in this country even when this country didn’t love and have faith in them, and that’s our legacy.”

Rice said her own father, grandmother and great-grandmother had endured “terrible humiliations” growing up in the segregated south and yet they still loved America.

Rice on race as a barrier in politics on FOX News Sunday (via AP):

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finds Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appealing and says it won’t be much longer before race isn’t a barrier to becoming president.

Obama is a top-tier contender among Democrats and his wide support early in the 2008 race “just shows that we’ve come a very long way,” Rice said Sunday. She and the Illinois senator are black.

“I do think we’ve come a long way in overcoming stereotypes, role stereotypes about African-Americans. I will say race is still a factor. When a person walks into a room, I still think people still see race,” Rice said.

“But it’s less and less of a barrier to believing that that person can be your doctor or your lawyer or a professor in your university or the CEO of a company. And it will not be long, I think, before it’s no longer a barrier to being president of the United States,” Rice said.

Rice, no shocker, is playing close to the vest on her opinions on Obama. She has a high profile job with the current administration and is living through a “Draft Condi” movement to make her John McCain’s running mate. I don’t see that happening as Rice, and this is practically a compliment, does not have the massive ego one needs to run for president, vice president even. Your ego has to have its own gravitational pull almost to even consider it.

Rice has made polite comments about Obama in the press and there is no reason to believe that she is wishing him any more ill will than secretly rooting him on. Because Condi’s so mum, she was the hardest to handicap. While it’s true she was a Democrat until the 1984 Mondale campaign (and who didn’t want to quit the party after that) and she likely is no where near as hard right as her current employers, she’s not big on sympathy or hand-holding either. Other than joining me and Amy Holmes on the “that could have been me!” end of black bourgeois leanings, if Condi backs Barack, you’ll never know because she’ll never tell you.

Chances of publicly endorsing Obama: Not as long as she
s a Bushie. And she’s a dyed-in-wool Bushie.

Chances of her voting for Obama: That’s a big question mark. My female intuition (and her family history) makes me want to say yes. What girl could grow up under the dual clouds of racism and racial responsibility and not feel a bit for the Big O? But this is Condi. Other than her love of the piano and football, she keeps all her feelings and emotions out of sight. Considering that I don’t even believe she believes have of the things she says in defense of her boss we may never know what she actually thinks about anything.

Side note: When you go looking for pictures of Rice in the Google Image search you really have to put your “don’t be offended” hat on. While I don’t know which image disturbed me the most – wait, scratch that. It was Condi’s face morphed onto a pitbull. Yeah. That was pretty offensive. And anything that accentuated her nose and thick lips. That was reeeeeeally offensive. So news flash, just because she’s a Republican and you don’t agree with her it’s still rather racist to graph her face onto a tribal African’s National Geographic photo with a George W. Bush in blackface as her bushman hubby. You’d think your Liberal racism immunity credits would protect you from that, but that’s a lie. You can totally be a Liberal and be racist. You wouldn’t be a very good Liberal, mind you, but you can square that circle with enough African bush jokes.

Can’t get enough of what black Republicans think of Obama? Well, come back tomorrow. I’ll tell you what Ward Connerly thinks! (And what I think he really thinks!) Then keep coming back for 12 more days, because I got a lot more black Republicans were that came from! Don’t be scared of what a black Republican might say, Snobbers! If you can’t face JC Watts, how can you face al Qaida?

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14 thoughts on “Does Condi Heart Barack? She’ll Never Tell

  1. This was brilliant! I have mixed feelings on Condi…on one hand, I’m like, “How can she stand for this Bush bullshit?” and on the other, I’m like, “Sister is doing her job.”But supporting O? I don’t see it…maybe because my mind won’t let me…

  2. dewfish says:

    I think if any of these republicans actually does vote for Obama, it won’t be simply because he is black. I think that is one of the largest fallacies the media has about blacks’ support of Obama. In the entire time that I have wanted Obama to become president, it has never because he was the black candidate. Ususally when I see a black candidate, I am even more critical than most because the candidate is black. Most black candidates never seem to stand for anything, and definitely don’t have the interests of black people in mind. I am not saying that that is what Obama is about, but he does seem to have a sort of even-handedness in his decision-making that makes me feel that he would at least think about an issue instead of following the party line.

  3. dewfish: I think most black people vote for black candidates for the issues they stand for other than blackness. If blackness were the sole indicator Michael Steele would be the senator from Maryland right now.Personally, I think many black Republicans (Powell, Rice, Amy Holmes and even JC Watts) are really just moderates. They just disagree with some of the Dems more Liberal issues (government can fix everything, public schools being a mess, blah, blah). Which is why I still stand my belief that it would have made more since to be Dems or at least Independents and try to bargain Dems to the middle. It would have been easier than trying to get the Republicans, who have largely ceded the black vote to the Dems, to pay attention to black issues.I think most black Republicans believe (like I believe) that Obama is a competent and reasonable person both sides can work with. While conservatives have been harping on his “Liberal” record, but he’s no Ted Kennedy. And even Ted Kennedy cosigned on No Child Left Behind.And that sucker was abysmal.So I think it will be a combination of his sensibleness and pride that will turn most black conservatives to him. He won’t get all (Star Parker) but I think most are on the fence leaning towards him if he gets the nomination.

  4. I’ve written before how much Condi just brings up conflicted emotions in me. It’s her intellect. Her pure, raw intellect that I have mucho respect for, and I cut her breaks that I just wouldn’t do for a Black MALE Republican in the same position.

  5. “Personally, I think many black Republicans (Powell, Rice, Amy Holmes and even JC Watts) are really just moderates. They just disagree with some of the Dems more Liberal issues (government can fix everything, public schools being a mess, blah, blah).”I agree, but I think their association with Republications is more about their wanting to be seen as and validated as self reliant citizens (not the poor needy citizens that the liberal dems advocate for) – how else could one identify with a party that refuses to identify with, and, in most cases, chooses to completely ignore the black community, even blacks who call themselves Republicans.Has Barack helped to bring them to their senses?

  6. Silly liberals.McCain is running a Center campaign, like Nixon in 1968. He doesn’t need the wingnut crazies. As a matter of fact, they do him harm. Of course he’ll pick Condi as his VP, especially since O’Stupid just came out in favor of restricting Concealed Carry laws nationwide. The man knows how to alienate white gunowners nationwide. Kiss PA goodbye. Color it Red. Condi is a Second Amendment Absolutist. Her own words.McCain’s VP search answers itself.

  7. section 9: I still don’t see him picking Condi. I think that’s all fantasy talk. He’s far more likely to pick a center-right governor from a southern state. I don’t think Condi would help his ticket considering she’s never run for elected office, much like Dick Cheney, and is tied to the failures of the Bush Administration (which he is trying hard to not be associated with.) She’s got the Bush stink all over her. He’s not touching that.And she’s a black woman that very few blacks or women are going to cross the aisle to vote for McCain over. Southern center-right governor! Or, Mitt Romney, who isn’t that conservative either despite the right’s weird sudden embrace of him once McCain was the front-runner. That’s the way I see it.

  8. The problem, of course, is that’s a typically liberal analysis. Rice is easily the most popular individual in the Bush Administration and her popularity in the Republican Party is (outside of the Neocon Brigade and the Zionist Crowd), vast.The only people who hate Rice are liberal Democrats. Black Democrats, especially. McCain won’t get their vote anyway, so why bother with what they think? They’re voting for Obama, remember? Most voters either like her or are indifferent. Remember, most voters do not have a dog in the deeply partisan fights in Washington. Neither liberal nor conservative bloggers get this, although both McCain and Obama get this deeply, which is why they are still around.I should add this: the fact that she’ll be on his ticket and Hillary will be home sulking in Chappaqua is one fact that won’t be lost on white working females. Not to mention white males and Hispanics. The notion that McCain would go South is attractive, but doesn’t look at what McCain needs. In normal times, he might need a Charlie Crist, but Charlie is a little green, and Florida is in our pocket this round. Sanford is from SC and wasn’t loyal to McCain in the early going. Mitt is a flipper and McCain hates his guts (and rightly so, many of his people know that he ran as a liberal back in Massachussetts and only became a conservative when he thought he was going to run against George Allen).Condi won’t be picked to get the black vote. That’s gone (unless Hillary steals the nomination). McCain will be lucky to get 10% of the black vote, and then only because he is a reform conservative. Black voters vote as a bloc, which has always been both their great strength and their great weakness. Nope, you pick Condi because you are 71 and want someone who is both engaging, authoritative, and who most people believe could be President if something happens to you.That’s the Dick Cheney Rule. We can’t “ticket balance” in our party like Democrats can. We actually have to have someone who can be Commander-in-Chief. Condi fills that bill. The fact that you consider this entire excercise an impossibility tells me that, in all probability, most Obama people think the same way. I suspect, however, that they are in for one hell of a surprise.

  9. section 9: The problem is McCain still has to run in a general election where Condi would be a liability. And to be honest, I’m pro-Obama, but I’m not a true believer in his electablity. By conventional standards no one running this year is “electable.”Really old white guy tied to an unpopular presidency? New faced young black guy accused of lacking substance? Bitter white woman named Clinton?Based on “tradition” the only person who’s supposed to get elected is McCain. The only reason why that is in jeopardy is because of the animosity people have towards the Republican Party right now.So you pick someone who ties you back to your only major flaw in the general?Also, most Republicans I’ve read and heard don’t take Condi being picked as Veep seriously. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t being discussed, I just don’t think it will happen. That doesn’t mean it won’t, I just don’t think it will.And I don’t dislike Condoleezza. I think she’s very poised and intelligent. But she didn’t do a very good job as Secy. of State (or National Security Adviser, for that matter). Her and Colin Powell’s views were over-looked much of the time during the first three years of the war. Bush didn’t stand up for her or Colin and allowed Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz run roughshod over them. He knew she was getting shut out and he didn’t go to bat for her. It just devolved into a boy’s club.Then after everything gets shot to hell, he gives her Powell’s spot and she’s routinely demonized in the press. Often because of the ever changing reality on the ground in Iraq and the constant raising, then lowering of expectations. I often don’t know whether her mistakes and overestimates were rooted in her desire to give Bush the information (or reality) he wanted to hear, or was simply a part of her own failings. If she runs with McCain the Republicans will be opened up to rehash every major foreign policy controversy of the past six years. From torture to the PATRIOT Act to problems with Russia to the Middle East crisis.That’s what I mean by the strong whiff of Bush. As well-liked as she may be, she’s been tied to some things many people in the middle and outside of the party find troubling and they will get brought up if she’s the running mate. Also, while this current battle between Hillary and Obama is messy and personal, the Democratic Party does have a history of supporting black candidates who run for office. Even JC Watts, who was also well-liked in the party, didn’t make it to a second term in part because Tom Delay and other party leaders wanted to torpedo his chances at returning.I still stand my original belief. Everyone’s picking a young(ish) white guy. Dem or Republican.But you’re right about the significance of the veep position in McCain’s campaign. McCain is unlikely to do two terms if he is elected. And to me that’s even more reason for the brass to go with someone else, who is not Condi, who they deem as an individual who is an upcoming star within the party and not tied to the present administration.

  10. section 9: Oh my God. After writing that I just realized something …I’m an equal opportunity pessimist!I can’t figure out what’s worse. That I’m a realist who works hard to not be swayed by emotion, but then denies the good fun of getting all caught up in some hype OR if the fact that in 2008 I still see it hard for any black candidate to become president or vice president from either party, in the general, because my faith in our racial progress only goes as far as I can see on a given day.Things are better, but then I’m not going to be shocked if someone flings an epitaph at me when I walk to work.I dunno.It sucks being a pragmatist. I only warm up to opportunity while I’m in the middle of forcing myself to engage.

  11. The Big O?…O Boy, that was pretty good =).John McCain looks and acts like he’s going to keel over any minute! This is Not lost on PRAGMATIC voters, people. I mean, why vote for someone who doesn’t come across physically like he’ll be around in two years? He’s simply not going to win over Mr. Young & Personable. He’s not. Besides, just as Obama’s lacking experience in certain areas, so is John McCain. Like, gee, where exactly is he on foreign policy?And don’t forget that all of this ongoing hullaballoo in the Democratic party makes for A Lot more air time than McCain’s recent world tour. This certainly bodes well for the Democrats.Still, it’s too bad that Clinton has completely botched her chances of ever being chosen as veep. Even Gore would be a better choice than she at this point. And as much as I liked John Edwards, he is almost too angry. I’ll have to get back to you on who O will choose as veep, whichever Caucasian-male-with-foreign-policy-and-health-experience he decides upon.As per politics, Condi’s finished. Elle est fini. Condi is Gondi. She never was political anyway, strictly a bureaucrat towing the party line. Plus, with her work record, no one wd take her candidacy seriously anyhoo.As per romance, Condi told The Big Female O that, “If someone is/was interested in a relationship with me, I would be open to it.” In the same “O” magazine article, she admitted to working 14-hour days (when she’s not purchasing the highest quality shoes in town). I guess the secret service men aren’t lining up for her. Oh well, their loss.

  12. Brilliant article! But things have changed in the last week; if Obama can’t win Pennsylvania, he probably has no chance to win the swing states, and the DNC must know that. I think that Hillary will get the nomination–and the convention will be a repeat of 1968. I expect the Democrats will pick John Edwards as Hillary’s VP, and there will be a lot of angry and disaffected Black voters.John McCain would have to be an imbecile to not plan to take advantage of this brouhaha, and I very strongly suspect that he will do everything in his power to convince Condoleezza Rice to run–especially after that poll saying a McCain/Rice ticket would take New York.Personally, I love Secretary Rice, and can very easily see her as vice president, and I know that I’m not alone. McCain must know that she is really his only obvious, logical choice.

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