Condoleeza Rice’s Political Future

California Republicans are definitely in need of big name star power to help bring attention to the party, and that was on display when former United States Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice addressed the state Republican convention this weekend. So, why is she not running for office?

The Stanford professor says she is not interested in running, declaring in the past that her dream job is that of Commissioner of the National Football League. But if she decides that office won’t open soon, perhaps she will change her thinking. There will be continuing pressure for her to do so.

Many political observers believe Rice’s strengths would be more applicable to the United States Senate. Her world view was on display at the Republican Convention as she argued that, internationally, someone has to argue for free people and free markets, and that the United States must maintain a strong military. “If we leave a vacuum” … the “world that will not be good for our interest or our values, and so America has to lead.”

That’s not to say Rice couldn’t handle the executive position of governor. She even has delved into state issues as a member of the Think Long Committee of California.  In her convention speech, Rice touched on principles that she said would rebuild California including individual responsibility, private sector growth and what she called “private space” respecting the choices that others make.

The tone of the principles she laid out for the state had a libertarian tinge. She said “the private sector needs low regulations and low taxes to do what it does best, create jobs for the people.”

But listening to Rice speak, I could not help think of another position that the former Secretary of State might consider – especially given the way national and international politics are shaping up.

A couple of weeks ago, Chris Cillizza’s popular “The Fix” column in the Washington Post listed possible 2016 Vice-Presidential candidates. Condoleeza Rice was not on it. She should be.

Rice’s inclusion on a VP list becomes more logical if Republicans nominate a governor for president and the international situation continues to boil. Rice’s knowledge and experience would add the needed gravitas to the ticket.

Could she handle the usual assignment given to VP candidates – carry a hatchet to be used against nominees from the other party? She probably would not want the role in the traditional sense, I suspect. But in her own way, she can criticize her opponents’ views, as she did when declaring United States exceptional during her speech.

Pressure for Rice to declare for an office will build. Certainly, if either current California U.S. Senator decides not to run for re-election, Republicans will beat a path to her door. The 2018 gubernatorial election would be open if Gov. Brown is re-elected, prompting more calls for Rice to get involved. Her name has been floated in connection with the national ticket in past elections. It will be again.

Condoleeza Rice would be a strong addition to a 2016 Republican national ticket. And, if the international situation continues to deteriorate, perhaps Republicans might even start thinking of her for the top of the ticket.

(Joel Fox is the Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee. Posted on Fox and Hounds.)

Obamacare Changes

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Could Supreme Court Nix Obama’s Global Warming Agenda?

From The Daily Caller:

President Obama’s plan to fight global warming was on trial Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over whether the administration had the authority to require that industrial facilities get permits when they emit large amounts of greenhouse gases.

Thirteen states, industrial groups and utility companies have petitioned the Supreme Court to rule that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from these facilities. Such a ruling would imperil Obama’s plan to fight global warming, the lynchpin of which is to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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CA Democrats Running Away From Obamacare

From The Sacramento Bee:

Mark Kentley is the kind of voter who will help decide the short-term political verdict on the new health care law known as Obamacare.

A 27-year-old who studies business administration while working at the College of the Desert, he’s swung back and forth between the Democrats and the Republicans in the last two presidential elections. Now, he sits right in the middle of one of the most contested seats for the House of Representatives, and his dislike of the law will be a major factor in deciding who gets his vote this fall.

He resents that the government is forcing him to buy health insurance he doesn’t want. “They’re trying to reinvent the wheel,” he complained during a break at the student union.

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Quality Education is a Civil Rights Issue

From U-T San Diego:

In education policy circles, the issue of teacher quality – particularly how and whether to take teacher effectiveness into account when making employment decisions — is fiercely contested and politically charged. Efforts to change teacher employment protections to prioritize students’ needs have been thwarted repeatedly by teachers’ unions and other opponents.

But as education outsiders who have built our careers understanding and applying the law, the issue to us could not be clearer. Education is the gateway to participation in our democracy and our economic marketplace — the cornerstone of our civil rights. A good job, economic security, civil engagement, and the American dream itself all begin with education. Closing the achievement and income gaps, lifting inner-city communities out of poverty, and creating and sustaining a diverse and successful middle class will not be possible unless each child has equal access to a quality education.

That is why laws that infringe on equality of students’ access to education have long been subject to constitutional attack. And it is why we represent nine California schoolchildren in Vergara vs. California. It took the courage of these nine kids to state the plain truth — California’s education laws fail our kids, our teachers and our society.

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Brown’s Re-Election Campaign Account Swells As 2013 Closes

From The Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Jerry Brown spent the final week of 2013 posting one of his most profitable fundraising periods, collecting $1.7 million for his re-election.

Labor unions accounted for nearly half the total, and the Democratic State Central Committee of California donated $300,000, increasing its total for 2013 to $2.7 million. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association and California Association of Professional Scientists were among donors contributing $54,400, the maximum allowed for non-party organizations. Other unions contributing include those representing plumbers, sheet metal and electrical workers.

Brown got $54,400 each from Chevron and BNSF Railway, and $27,200 from CBS. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg gave $27,200, maxing out to Brown after writing an identical check earlier in the year.

Photo courtesy of Freedom to Marry, flickr

Photo courtesy of Freedom to Marry, flickr

CA Justices get CHP Chauffeurs

From The Sacramento Bee:

During the work week, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne Gilliard drives from home to the courthouse basement on I Street, parks her SUV and rides up the public elevator sometimes used by accused criminals headed to her courtroom.

Meanwhile, justices who work four blocks away in the ornate chambers of Sacramento’s 3rd District Court of Appeal have another option for getting to work: a free ride from an armed CHP officer.

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