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
"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
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
"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
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?