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Monday, January 16, 2006
Rice Says “No” (Yet Again)
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:44 am

Via the AP: Rice Again Rules Out 2008 White House Run

Asked about the first lady’s comments Sunday, Rice laughed and good naturedly answered the recurring question about her prospects for president in 2008. No dice, she said — for the umpteenth time.

“Obviously, it’s flattering when people say things like that. The first lady is not only a terrific person, she’s my friend. And I was honored that she said that, of course. She’s a wonderful person,” Rice said.

“But I’ve spoken to this. I know what I’m good at, I know what I want to do and that’s not it.”

How about vice president?

“The two are the same,” she said with a grin and a shake of her head.

As interesting as it might be for Rice to run, I have a hard seeing an electoral novice having any serious chance at a major party nomination.

Indeed, I did the research on the question back when Wesley Clarke was pursuing the Democratic Party’s slot.

To summarize my findings:

  • No electoral rookie has been nominated by a major party since the inception of the current primary process in 1972.
  • Even under the previous set of rules, the last electoral neophyte to be nominated was Eisenhower in 1952. He went on to win two terms as President-but, of course, having been the victorious commander in Europe during WWII helped quite a bit.
  • Prior to that, the last electoral rookie to win the presidency was Herbert Hoover in 1928.
  • In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was recruited from the ranks of business to run for President.

Again, the run-down is here.

The skills needed to be a professor, provost, National Security Adviser and SecState (to hit her resume highlights) aren’t the same skills needed to run for office, let alone the Presidency. There are other issues as well. For example: her views on abortion and other social policies are vaguely known at best, and it isn’t like the Bush foreign policy is the ideal place from which to build a presidential run. I suspect that even in segments of the GOP that favor the general approach that President Bush has used in the War on Terror, Iraq, etc., that there will be room (substantial room) for candidates who seek a degree of change to the current policies.

If she wanted to be President she should have pursued elective office at the state level, or, at a minimum, work towards being the Veep candidate in 2008.

So, shockingly, even if she were to change her mind and run, I don’t see a Hillary v. Condi race, regardless of what Dick Morris may think.

Filed under: US Politics, 2008 Campaign | |Send TrackBack

The Florida Masochist linked with The answer is still no
Fruits and Votes » Blog Archive » Presidential recruitment linked with [...] ience is posts in the current president’s cabinet-prompted me to post a rather extensive comment to Steven’s post. After thinking of Colombia, Mexico, a [...]
PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Presidential Nominee Career Paths in Colombia linked with [...] idential Nominee Career Paths in Colombia By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:43 pm In a comment to my post on the probability of a Rice candidacy succeeding, Matthew Shug [...]


  1. Nice research. Isn’t it interesting how executive recruitment varies in different presidential systems? Just today, we are noting the election of Michele Bachelet as president of Chile. She has never held elective office, yet she was the presumed front-runner very early in the pre-nomination process. She came straight from the incumbent president’s cabinet, much as Rice would do if she were to run.

    Professor Taylor might have this on the top of his head: How many Colombian presidents have been electoral rookies? I think several have been. The incumbent of course was not. He had been a governor (a position that only became elective after 1991, so he was one of the first presidential candidates who could have held elective subnational executive office). Several other Colombian presidents may have been legislators before entering the cabinet, but many have built their credentials for the presidency by serving in the cabinet.

    Mexican presidents in the era of PRI dominance were almost always electoral rookies, and members of the incument cabinet. Now with real electoral competition, the front-runners, like the incumbent, tend to be governors-though the PAN’s candidate for 2006 has not been. So Mexico may be moving in a somewhat US-style direction.

    Of course, in the US, the successful candidates are almost always experienced in elective executive positions, i.e. governors, and rarely come right from the legislature, let alone any non-elective positions.

    My tentative conclusion would be that the more federal a presidential system is, and the more open the party nomination process, the more advantageous a governorship is for presidential candidates. Obviously, in Chile, a unitary state, the gubernatorial recruitment channel is not available.

    It is striking that the US has effectively closed off the cabinet as a place from which one could launch a presidential candidacy. And it has apparently mostly closed off the federal legislature as a place to launch a successful candidacy.

    Comment by Matthew — Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

  2. since CLinton left office, Dick Morris has been wrong - jarringly, shockingly wrong — far more often than he has been right in his prognostications, at least to my memory. The smart money bets against whatever he’s for.

    Comment by Steven L. — Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 1:54 pm

  3. […] idential Nominee Career Paths in Colombia
    By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:43 pm

    In a comment to my post on the probability of a Rice candidacy succeeding, Matthew Shug […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Presidential Nominee Career Paths in Colombia — Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  4. Steven L.:

    Yup. And he kind of creeps me out, too.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

  5. Whether or not Condi is going to run, she is saying the right things for right now. No one who plans to run for public office, especially the presidency, would say anything furthering the rumor of a possible candidacy this far in advance. If Condi did this, every move of the administration and the State Department would be criticized as political thus greatly damaging the credibility of Bush and Rice. While the possibility of a Condi ‘08 candidacy is waning in my eyes, it is also important to keep this in mind.

    Comment by Red — Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

  6. […] ience is posts in the current president’s cabinet-prompted me to post a rather extensive comment to Steven’s post. After thinking of Colombia, Mexico, a […]

    Pingback by Fruits and Votes » Blog Archive » Presidential recruitment — Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

  7. The answer is still no

    Anyway, if any of us bloggers could sucessfully predict the future, we’d be making our living doing something different entirely. LOL.

    Trackback by The Florida Masochist — Tuesday, January 17, 2006 @ 10:52 am

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