Condi 2008--winning Iowa/NH
Some nuts and bolts...suppose Condi is running in 2008--how exactly would she win?
The GOP nomination: Iowa, NH
Iowa would certainly be the shakedown cruise. If it's really true that her campaign skills are poor, we'll find out very soon. Given the fact that she's been doing talkshows every Sunday morning for the last four years, I expect her to do very well in the debates--although I don't expect Reaganesque stump speeches.
The three candidates with the greatest name recognition would be Condi, McCain & Rudy. I assume here that Jeb is out it for 2008 (although I think he'd do well in Iowa if he ran). Condi will have the best foreign policy credentials of any of the three; she will be the only one of the top candidates who won't need on-the-job training to lead the war on terror. Neither McCain nor Rudy has had to deal with foreign leaders, manage a war, or make any of the tough decisions on the War on Terror. When it comes to national security, Condi will trump any candidate in any party--and trump them in spades.
And I think Condi has a secret weapon for the primaries: Rush. Now this man clearly has a serious crush on her. Not to mention the fact that he seems to loathe McCain only somewhat less than he loathes Michael Moore. And Rush is not going to back Rudy, who is simply a New York liberal who is tough on terror and crime. That leaves Condi among the major candidates. I think Rush will be doing pro-Condi broadcasts every day throughout the primary season, and that will make it tough for either Rudy or McCain to knock her off.
More important than Rush, count on W to back her strongly: he can't do it openly, but I think W will make it clear to friends and associates that he is strongly behind her candidacy. As I've mentioned in other posts, there is good reason to think that W is looking to her as his successor.
In any case, Condi will campaign in Iowa as one of the top three candidates--and she may well be the frontrunner as early as November, if not earlier.
Problems? Yes: the Iowa GOP is very pro-life. Condi will need to solidify her pro-life credentials. If she doesn't, she will compete with Rudy for dividing up the non-pro life vote, and in the Iowa GOP primary that's not very large. If she does solidify her credentials, she will carry Iowa over McCain (whose grassroots support seems to wither by the week).
New Hampshire is very tough to read since NH's relationship to the Iowa results are complex. But if she carries Iowa, she can carry NH too. From there it would be on to the South where I think Condi will do well: she carries herself like a Southern gentlewoman, and I think the NY media will be amazed at her ability to pick up those guys with Confederate flags and gun racks that Dr Dean has talked about.
One other thing: once Condi wins her first primary, the MSM will puff Condi almost every chance they get. Yes, they will mention the glitches in her resume that have sometimes troubled them as long as she's a way of getting at W. But the biggest bias of the MSM is a bias for a good story. And "black woman as GOP nominee" is the best story in the primaries. Once she wins a primary, they will give her heavily favorable press throughout the primaries, only getting seriously critical after she clinches the nomination. She will be the #1 story (Hillary's coronation on the other side will be parallel, but secondary). And we will be flooded with Condi-Hillary stories from January on.