The president of Vanderbilt University plans to give Condoleeza Rice a medal to honor her for a life of "distinguished public service." This has apparently sparked a controversy among the university's anti-war crowd, since Dr. Rice has had a prominent role in the war effort. Hogwash. She's the best National Security Adviser this country has had in decades, and certainly one of the most influential women in the country. If anyone deserves a medal, she does.
It used to be fashionable on both sides of the aisle to speculate about a Bush-Rice ticket in 2004. I myself have signed a petition asking President Bush to consider her as his running mate. Obviously, they have a terrific working relationship. And I have even more respect for her after her testimony to the increasingly ridiculous 9/11 commission. She faced everything from racist condescension to slanderous accusation and handled them all with dignity and aplomb.
When Dick Cheney got the nod for VP in 2000, everyone talked about how he lent gravitas to the ticket. And he did. But for my money, nobody beats Condi for gravitas. And I think there's no argument that she would provide an electoral boost that Cheney would not. Last of all, I think many of the calls for Rumsfeld to resign are motivated only by a desire to see the administration make some kind of gesture that symbolizes a change of direction. What better way to do this than to get a new running mate? And given Cheney's well-known health problems, it certainly would be easy for him to step down and spend more time with his family.
I just don't see a downside. Draft Condi!