I don’t understand this Jacob Heilbrunn post:
Steely and disciplined, relentless and ambitious, Rice may well ascend to the presidency, where she could dispense with the palaver she doled out at the convention and seek revenge on the neocons who tormented her during the Bush years. Watch out for Rice.
The warning at the end is appropriate enough, but the rest of it doesn’t make much sense. Is Rice politically ambitious? Maybe, but if she is she does a remarkably good job of hiding it. The “palaver she doled out” last night is much the same sort of thing she said when she was working for George W. Bush. I have no way of knowing whether she “really” believed it then or “really” believes it now, but she has gone out of her way to identify herself with this kind of rhetoric for many years. If she had the chance, would she “seek revenge on the neocons”? Maybe, but so what? Her judgment has proved to be just as bad, and her vision of the U.S. role in the world has been almost as ideological. Her roots may be “in the realist camp,” but her tenure in the Bush administration is a good example of how little this sometimes matters.
As far as her political future is concerned, there is no plausible political path that Rice could take to reach the Presidency. Maybe somewhere down the road, she might be appointed to a commission or an advisory board once most people have forgotten the administration she served for eight years. It’s always possible that some future Republican presidential nominee could make the terrible mistake of naming her as his running mate. That would probably be a losing ticket in part because of her selection. Unless the GOP became a radically different party in the next decade or two, Rice could not become its presidential nominee, and as more time passes she will increasingly and correctly be regarded as old news. By 2016, Rice will have been out of government for eight years, and she still will have no relevant political experience for an elected office.
One thing I do know is that realists shouldn’t be rooting for Condi Rice’s political rehabilitation. Inasmuch as people identify her with Republican realism, it associates realism with one of the least competent National Security Advisers and Secretaries of State of the last several decades, and it ties it to one of the worst foreign policy records in modern American history.