Condoleezza Rice: The Next Dick Cheney?

Mitt Romney needs just the right running mate. Will it be a blast from the past?

There's no shortage of punditry when it comes to figuring out who's on the short list to be Mitt Romney's vice presidential selection. Or the long list. Or the dark horse list. What's an election year without lists? And on the heels of the premiere of the HBO show VEEP, it's time to turn our thoughts to potential women on the list.

But does Romney have it in him to make a bold choice? Many observers think he'll play it safe with someone he'll personally be comfortable with -- a Dan Quayle type to his own staid George H.W. Bush facade. It's no secret that many in Romney's own party are concerned over who the head of his vetting team will recommend. Will Romney choose to stay in his 1950's-style comfort zone or will he assuage those Republicans who fear that he doesn't possess the political heft to win, as many thought when George W. Bush ran for the White House, and choose someone to be his own Dick Cheney-like chancellor? Cheney helped many in the GOP overlook their qualms about whether President Bush II was really ready to lead because they knew Cheney, the master politico, would have his back.

For Romney, the person who could fit that bill is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Don't laugh. While it might sound unconventional at first blush, Rice fills many requirements Romney needs in the fall --stellar political credentials and contacts, nerves of steel, GOP bona fides, the Bush family loves her, and, yes, she's a woman of color who could help Romney on the diversity front with two voting groups he's not doing well with.

Selecting Condi would send the signal to the GOP that Romney is willing to take someone for his inner circle who's done time in Washington, D.C., who knows how the game works and who has relationships with power players.

I'm not sure, but I think Rice still owns her Watergate condo. That could be just the place to set up a Romney/Rice nerve center. Not to mention the fun that the media would have pitting Condi's fashion sense against Michelle Obama's.

You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!

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