About Those Condi Rumors on the Internets

Matt Lewis
|
Posted: Apr 08, 2008 9:21 AM


Yesterday morning -- when it was being widely reported (and "hyped") on cable TV shows and blogs -- that Condi was, in fact, "campaigning" for the Vice Presidency -- I was still skeptical.

The rumors were based comments made by a top Republican strategist.  As far as I can tell, his only "evidence" for believing Condi was interested in the position was Rice's recent appearance at the weekly conservative conclave hosted by Grover Norquist, a few weeks ago.  At least, that's the only thing he cited.  

Drudge picked up the comments, and from there, it went to cable news, where it received a lot of play on Monday.

... Today, it is being reported in the Washington Post that, 

Condoleezza Rice wants it known: She is not interested in being vice president.

Sean McCormack, her spokesman, tried on Monday to dampen speculation that erupted Sunday after Dan Senor, a GOP political operative, said on ABC's "This Week" that the secretary of state was "actively, actually, in recent weeks campaigning" for the job.

Questioned at the regular State Department briefing, McCormack said Rice wants to return to Stanford University, where she is a tenured professor.

"If she is actively seeking the vice presidency, then she's the last one to know about it," McCormack said.

... Is it possible that Condi actually wants the job, yet is deceiving us?  I suppose that's possible, but it's also doubtful.  

But even if she is being coy, her flat denial means that she is not, in fact: "actively courting the vice presidential nomination" -- as was reported. 

So how did this get started???

This rumor became a big story because it is "sexy."  For a news media that must fill 24-hours worth of space, it was a great story to speculate about (never mind the fact that it most likely wasn't true.)  

Note:  Even if we accept the notion that the standards are lower for reporting something as a "rumor" -- it was still a stretch, considering the amount of coverage it received.

The delayed timing was also interesting; Rice attended the conservative conclave weeks ago -- yet the rumor that she was "campaigning" for Veep just popped up. 

I don't think I even mentioned Condi's appearance at that meeting on this blog, primarily because my sources told me there was no there there...