Saturday, February 25, 2006

Condi for President? Book Clearly Shows How And Why

Dick Morris is a salesman, basically. During his tenure of nearly twenty years as Bill Clinton’s political consultant, his job mostly consisted of damage control, but, whether you like it or not, sell him he did, and he did a darn good job of it. No friend of the political Left, he molded Clinton, a liberal, into a successful politician of the “moderate” persuasion. Since the end of his relationship with “Bubillary”, as an author and a Fox News contributor, he has shown himself to be a well-educated critic of both the administration he helped beget, and the left wing of the Demopublican Party, and has become a strong supporter of the Bush Administration.
In Condi Vs, Hillary, The Next Great Presidential Race, (Regan Books, 2005) Morris unveils his latest sales pitch for Condoleezza Rice. Co-written with political analyst Eileen McGann, the book begins with this:
“If the thought of another Clinton presidency excites you, then the future indeed looks bright. Because, as of this moment, there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is on a virtually uncontested trajectory to win the Democratic nomination and, very likely, the 2008 presidential election...
“But if the very thought of four--or perhaps even eight--more years of the Clintons and their predictable liberal policies alarms you; if you see through the new Hillary brand--that easygoing, smiling moderate; if you remember what a partisan, ethically challenged, left-wing ideologue she has always been, is now, and will always be, then you can see what the future holds...
“But her victory is not inevitable. There is one, and only one, figure in America who can stop Hillary Clinton: Secretary of State Condoleezza “Condi” Rice. Among all of the possible Republican candidates for president, Condi alone could win the nomination, defeat Hillary, and derail a third Clinton administration...
“This is a race Condi can win.”

This is a highly readable book, contrasting the public Hillary to the “real” Hillary, whom Morris refers to as “Dr. Jeckyll and Mrs. Hyde,” and contrasting Hillary to Condi. He makes no unwarranted statements, carefully footnoting his resources, and even citing from Hillary’s own book, Living History. He sketches Condi’s life and accomplishments, great accomplishments, indeed. Summing up the comparison, Morris states, “Hillary campaigns, Condi auditions.”
Acknowledging the fact that Condoleezza Rice has stated that she has no plans to run for president, Morris assures us that Condi would run if drafted. Using the grass roots Internet movement-- which influenced the 2004 presidential election so heavily--as a model, he details exactly how Condi could be drafted as the Republican presidential nominee. Condi’s day job is highly demanding, he cautions us, so we have to do all the organizing and fund raising ourselves, as the Secretary of State has little time for campaigning.
This book is a must read for those who are interested in seeing Condoleezza Rice as the next President of the United States, but it is also an important primer on how politics work. Morris and McGann are highly knowledgeable on the inner workings of politics, and this is why Condi Vs. Hillary will be relevant beyond 2008. The authors explain how the media, the Internet, public relations, polls, influence peddling, and fundraising all fit in to the big picture of big party politics. They explain so clearly that any reader who is confused by politics will genuinely feel the light bulb of understanding brighten overhead.
My own thoughts are echoed in the final chapter of the book: “The election of 2008 will be the next great presidential race. With the possibility of two popular women as candidates, the voters will make history.
“We can only hope it’s the right kind of history.”

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