Who is Dr. Rice?:
Condoleezza "Condi" Rice is a former Secretary of State under George W. Bush and the highest ranking black female in US history. As Secretary of State, she was fourth in line to the presidency. Rice was born in 1954 in Birmingham
, Alabama and was witness to many of the horrors of life in the Jim Crow segregationist south. She lost a friend in a 1963 church bombing by white supremacists. Her mother, a teacher, and father, a minister and guidance counselor, pushed Condoleezza hard throughout her childhood. Rice went on to excel in school and she even became a concert-level pianist.
In 1967, her family moved to Colorado and Rice graduated from a Catholic school early at the age of 16. By 19, she had finished her B.A. in political science from the University of Denver and by 20 she had obtained a Master Degree from Notre Dame in the same field. After working briefly in the State Department, she returned to the University of Denver where she completed her Ph.D. in political science at the age of 26. She was mostly interested in the Soviet Union, international affairs, and foreign policy. She is fluent in French and Russian.
Notable Public and Academic Career Highlights:
- Political Science Professor, Stanford University (1981-1993)
- Soviet Affairs Director, US National Security Council (1989-1991)
- Provost, Stanford University (1993-1999)
- National Security Adviser (2000-2005)
- US Secretary of State (2005-2009)
Possible Vice-President Speculation:
Although she has publicly denied she has any interest in running for public office, Rice's name often surfaces as a possible vice-presidential selection
. Suspicions increased in 2012 when Rice began making more frequent statements on domestic policy, an area she previously shied away from. Also, in June of 2012, Rice headlined her first ever political fundraiser for ShePAC, a political action committee supporting conservative female candidates. She later received rave reviews and a standing ovation at a retreat for Mitt Romney
donors that same month after heavily criticizing President Obama's policies and the direction of the country.
Popularity Among Conservatives:
Condoleezza Rice gets mixed reviews from conservatives. Unquestionably, Rice's personal history is compelling and her accomplishments remarkable. Some conservatives worry that Rice's ties to the Bush administration could hurt her politically. Also, her domestic views are relatively unknown. She has called herself a libertarian-leaning Republican and has called herself moderately pro-choice as a result. She opposes federal funding of abortion and late-term abortion, and favors parental notification. As Stanford Provost, she stopped applying affirmative action toward tenure position. She also supports civil unions and takes a limited government view in many other areas.
Throughout her time serving under President Bush, Rice remained one of the most popular figures in the administration. Her poll numbers favorably stayed in the 55-65% range throughout her time as Secretary of State. Near the end of her tenure, her favorable rating stood 29 points above her unfavorable rating, a rarity for members of the administration at that time. An April, 2012 poll showed that Rice had an impressive 80% approval rating from Republicans and even topped the list in a vice-presidential wish list poll. She attracted nearly 1 in 4 votes, easily besting Chris Christie
, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and other contenders.
- "My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did." - 2000 Republican national Convention Speech
- "I decided I'd rather be ignored than patronized." - Her view that the Democratic Party treats minorities as helpless victims
- "It is a narrative that is being pushed by our current president, that 'I'm doing poorly because you're doing well. That has never been the American narrative. Ours has never been a narrative of aggrievement, and ours has never been a narrative of entitlement." June, 2012 Speech to Mitt Romney Supporters