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Republican source: Lesbian rumors ruined Condoleezza Rice's VP chances

by PageOneQ

It was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, not Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, that was the first choice for Senator John McCain's female running mate, according to a mid-level member of the Republican National Committee.

"Once [Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois Senator] Obama selected [Delaware Senator] Biden" instead of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), the source told journalist Ian Halperin, "they had this theory that Condi was the perfect candidate to put up against him. She's tough, conservative and a hawk, not to mention a football fanatic, which would be more than enough for white men.

"They never expected traditionally Democratic Blacks and women to vote for her in large numbers, but argued that if she could just sway 5-10% of Blacks and 10% of women to defect, it could be enough to tilt the election towards McCain in a number of crucial swing states. At this point, Palin still wasn't on anybody's radar screen."

McCain's inner circle argued "furiously" for Rice to be his running mate instead of one-time top contenders Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty. However, according to the RNC source, persistent rumors about Rice's sexual orientation took her out of the running. "In Washington circles," the source said, "it's just assumed Rice is gay and nobody really cares. But in the glare of the media spotlight, those rumors were bound to get magnified a thousandfold and the mainstream media would have had an excuse to reveal the facts that would have caused conniption fits among the Republican base."

Rice, as Provost of Stanford University long before she was on the Bush cabinet, jointly owned a California house and held a line of credit with documentary filmmaker Randy Bean, with whom Rice has said she bonded over a "mutual love of football."

"Whether or not her relationship with Bean means Condi is light in the loafers is not the point," the source added. "It's hard to prove one way or another. The fact is that by the time the media finished dissecting it, not a Christian conservative in the country would have gone to the polls in November and that's ultimately what nixed the Rice candidacy."

"I'm a great admirer of Secretary Rice," Senator McCain said in April when asked if she was being considered as his running mate; GOP strategist Dan Senor told ABC's This Week that Rice was "actively campaigning" for the post. "I think she's a great American," McCain added. "I think there's very little that I can say that isn't anything but the utmost praise for a great American citizen that served as role model to so many people in this country and around the world."







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Originally published on Wednesday September 24, 2008.


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