What's keeping Condi from pulling the trigger on McCain?

Back in August, on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Condoleezza Rice if she were supporting John McCain for president. She replied that “as secretary of state, I think it’s a tradition that I’ll take a nonpartisan role here. … And I as an American will make my choice, like all Americans, at the ballot box.”

Condi an undecided? Knowing her talent for detecting which way the wind blows, it’s not surprising. Is she another Republican preparing to jump ship. There has been talk that she has reservations about Sarah Palin.

In fact, perhaps Condi plans to make a future run at the presidency and is just trying to steer clear of the train wreck this election has become for Republicans.

Or maybe, to give her credit she’s never actually earned, she’s harkening back to her roots in civil-rights legacy town Birmingham and has chosen to vote black.

To try out yet another scenario, perhaps she just wants to wash her hands of anyone connected with an administration that not only sent her out like a sacrificial lamb before the 9/11 Commission, but has stymied her at every turn. Most notably in her attempts to salvage a legacy by bringing Israel and Palestine to the bargaining table.

When all is said she’ll probably pull the lever, or touch the screen, for McCain. But, at their blog Nukes & Spooks, McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay, Warren Strobel, and Nancy Youssef (one of them, anyway — the post is unsigned) cast more doubt on whether she’ll vote for her party.

It’s not quite an endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, but it’s pretty close. … R. Nicholas Burns, “the Bush administration’s point man on Iran for most of President Bush’s second term,” as they describe him, comes down firmly in favor of the United States talking to its enemies, including Iran. …

“To illustrate how far we have isolated ourselves, think about this: I served as the Bush administration’s point person on Iran for three years but was never permitted to meet an Iranian.”

Burns, it should be noted, has long been a close friend and ally of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“I lived this issue for 27 years as a career diplomat, serving both Republican and Democratic administrations. Maybe that’s why I’ve been struggling to find the real wisdom and logic in this Republican assault against Obama [over negotiating without ‘preconditions’].”

Does Burns speak for Rice as well?

1 reply »

  1. I hate to burst your bubble, but Burns retired in February. He was not an Administration political appointee, but career Foreign Service. Rice would have no control over what he says. However, his opinion about Iran would tend to reflect the opinion of the FSO’s, who tended to favor contacts with Iran, as Rice did, and in fact, as McCain does.

    In her comments about Obama, Rice has been somewhat critical about his stance on the Iraq war itself and his refusal to acknowledge the success of the surge. That said, I would not be surprised if she voted for McCain out of her conviction that the war in Iraq was a just enterprise.

    Her silence about who she is voting for has to do as much with her neutral position as Secretary of State than anything else. Obama serves on her committee, remember, and she remains on good terms with him. Powell, on the other hand, left government years ago. Rice, however, has a future in the Republican Party, and needs to maintain her political viability. Voting for McCain does that for her, and does no harm to the Obama Campaign in a deep blue state like California.