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March 14 - I heard a loud screeching crash on Sunday morning, followed by 24 hours of wailing. Did you hear it, too? It was the sound of the Condi Rice bandwagon getting a flat tire and flying into the drainage ditch—and millions of Republicans going into spontaneous apoplexy.
"Both," Rice replied. Then Russert asked her to issue a Shermanesque refusal to run—as in, "If nominated, I will not accept. If elected, I will not serve." She wouldn't do it.
"Tim, I don't want to run for president of the United States," she said. Under more pressing, she tried, "I will not run for president of the United States. How is that? I don't know how many ways to say 'no' in this town."
I mean, we're talking about Condi Rice here—a woman who has never expressed even the slightest desire to be president of anything except the National Football League, yet finds herself on the top of every GOP poll and every Republican political consultant's wish list.
To assess just how depressed my Republican counterparts are about the news of Condi's refusal to run, I called my father. Loyal readers of this column know that Dad is a true conservative—a believer in low taxes, balanced budgets, limited government regulations, pre-emptive war and public display of the Ten Commandments (as long as all 10 are "Defeat Hillary Clinton").
I assumed he would be distraught after the "Meet the Press" interview, but I found him upbeat. In fact, he had the audacity to claim that Rice had not ruled out a run for the presidency, despite the fact that she had used almost those very words (except for the "not").
"She said she wouldn't run," my father said. "But that doesn't mean she won't allow herself to be drafted!" He then proceeded to review the "Meet the Press" transcript and promptly affirmed that Rice remained the front-runner.
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