by Jake Maccoby
As buzz grows around Washington that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could be tapped as John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate, rumors have begun swirling amongst Republican circles that, if true, would immediately end the chances of a McCain/Rice ticket in November.
While unconfirmed, GOP higherups have begun to believe that the whisper campaign accusing Secretary Rice of being a black woman has some degree of truth to it, a prospect that has sent the party into disarray.
“Well sure, I was excited,” said one Republican Party official not associated with the McCain campaign. “I mean, national security adviser, Secretary of State, a football fan who understands Middle America? That sounded great to me. But now people are saying that Rice is a woman—a black woman! I just don’t know how I feel about it anymore.”
The White House has categorically denied the rumors, calling them “baseless and harmful allegations that are plain insulting to such a patriotic, hard working white male.”
“These stories are absolutely, one hundred percent false,” said White House Spokesman Dana Perino, a manly man himself, at a daily press briefing. “Listen, we went through the same thing with Colin Powell. When we appointed him Secretary of State, there were a lot of rumblings that he might be black. And obviously it just isn’t true.”
Many officials in the GOP blame the “liberal media” for spreading such stories.
“Condoleezza Rice is a great American,” said one official who declined to be identified discussing a sensitive matter. “And for rags like the New York Times to defame Secretary Rice’s character by printing this kind of libel—and that’s what it is, libel—it just makes me sick.”
Many Republican voters said that they were “uneasy” about the rumors, though some made clear that they had by no means made up their minds on the issue.
“Rice is the Secretary of State!” said Campbell Saxton of Marietta, Georgia. “Does that sound like a job they would give to a woman or a black person? No, I don’t believe it for a minute.”
Others admitted that the rumors had affected their view of the Secretary somewhat.
“Rice has done a great job,” said Bo Harper of Spartanburg, South Carolina. “Originally, I would have been really happy with a McCain/Rice ticket. But after all these stories….I don’t know. It just raises a lot of questions.”
When asked if he would still support Rice for vice president if she was indeed a black woman, Harper was doubtful.
“A black lady in a position of power in a Republican administration? Man, you’ve got to be crazy.”