Much attention has been given of late as to whom Governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will choose as his running mate. Partially because the curiosity drives earned media for the Romney campaign (pre-convention) and also because Romney has indicated his announcement of a running mate could come before his convention, .
The number one requirement for Romney’s running mate is his or her ability on Day One to be President, if the need arose. When Ann Romney said in an interview that a woman was still being considered the fire was fueled for more media speculation as to which Republican woman fit that bill. I spoke with Politico Arena on the viability of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as Vice President and the benefits of her presence on the ticket.
In 2008, women outnumbered men by 10 million at the polls. In a year where the forecast is for the presidential race to be close, the choice of a vice presidential running mate could be the deciding factor. The inclusion of Condoleezza Rice could be the game-changer.
Ms. Rice is pragmatic, well-respected, and has a strong foreign affairs dossier. Her military expertise couples well with Governor Romney's experience in business, allowing them to champion two important pillars of the Republican platform: the economy and national security.
This move would also highlight Governor Romney’s ability to bring “change” in an area that experts and the country agree drastically needs it. An African-American woman as a running mate brings a great deal of the unexpected to the sometimes by-the-book campaign of Romney. Because the U.S. has less females holding office ranking behind the Seychelles and Belarus and because (according to a recent Pew Report) Governor Romney yields only 4% of the African-American vote, this decision is viewed as both bold and purposeful.
Finally, conservative women uniformly admire Secretary Rice. Palladian View posed a question to 130 activist leaders nationwide who self-identified as conservative women. When asked which Republican woman would be the best choice for vice president, over a majority who “named names” indicated Ms. Rice as their first choice.
With a mere 73 women members in the House and seventeen in the Senate, and only 45 women holding cabinet-level posts in the history of our nation, the shortage of women in politics is persisting as a generational problem. Condoleezza Rice serving as vice president of the United States not only elevates the office but also prepares the nation for a woman president.
Karen Floyd, former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, is the publisher of Palladian View, a digital magazine for the conservative Republican woman.