Would the Right Really Care About a Pro-Choice Running Mate?

Condoleezza Rice discusses memoir
Condi Rice is kind of okay with abortions. Photo: Larry Marano/Getty Images

With the Drudge Report’s bombshell scoop that Condi Rice is now the veepstakes’ front-runner  — which, some pundits suspect, is just the Romney campaign’s attempt at dangling a shiny object in front of the political media in an attempt to distract from the latest Bain controversy — the first reaction of many, on the right and the left, is that Rice’s pro-choice views make her inclusion on the GOP ticket impossible. Theoretically, though, it’s not impossible. Avoiding traffic jams while driving out of the city on a summer Friday afternoon is impossible. Watching the Lion King without crying during the stampede scene is impossible. A Republican presidential candidate choosing a pro-choice VP is entirely possible.

To be sure, the right would obviously prefer an all-pro-life ticket. Why not? But if it came down to it, we can’t imagine that having a pro-choicer on the ticket would hurt Romney. The vice-president doesn’t have any influence over the direction of abortion policy in this country, and everyone knows it. Rice isn’t going to appoint justices to the Supreme Court. She’s not going to sign bills or veto them. The most she could do is cast a tie-breaking vote on some kind of abortion-related legislation, and even in that infinitesimally rare scenario, it’s hard to believe she would break with her president and her entire party.

When it came down to it, the choices before conservatives would be President Obama — your standard abortion-loving and abortion-loving-judge-appointing liberal — or Mitt Romney, a pro-lifer (although, granted, not the most trustworthy one) who will appoint pro-life judges but who happens to share a ticket with some pro-choice window dressing. You’re telling us that abortion crusaders are going to stay home on Election Day and hand the infanticide-loving president four more years in the White House because Romney declined to appoint a pro-lifer to an entirely symbolic position in his cabinet? We don’t buy it.

Look no further than Sarah Palin, perhaps the most pro-life person on the planet, for proof of how easily Rice’s pro-choiceness (which isn’t even that strong to begin with) can be overlooked. “I think that Condoleezza Rice would be a wonderful vice-president,” she said on Fox News last night, while also noting that “it’s not the vice-president that would legislate abortion.”

If even Palin — who has said that she wouldn’t even want her 14-year-old daughter to abort a baby conceived through rape — is okay with Rice being on the ticket, other pro-lifers should be fine with it too.

This is not to say that we think Romney will actually pick Rice. For one thing, he already promised that he wouldn’t. Aside from that, it really comes down to two words: Bush taint. Sorry for the mental image.

Would the Right Care About a Pro-Choice VP?