Condoleeza Rice, President George W. Bush’s second Secretary of State, did not run for the Oval Office on 2016. However, when Bill Kristol sent out a mysterious tweet, suggesting that an an independent candidate who has “a strong team and a real chance” will jump into the race to stop Donald Trump, many speculated it would be Rice. While Kristol left his message completely ambiguous, there was a movement to get Rice, 61, to run for President.
Although Rice did not choose to run, she didn’t stay quiet during the election. When a 2005 tape of Trump making lewd comments leaked, she wrote on Facebook that he should drop out of the race.
Here’s what you need to know about Rice and 2016.
1. A Group of Donors Wanted Rice To Run in 2016
In March, Politico reported that a group of Republican donors did want to ask Rice to run for the White House. The site obtained a memo by Joel Searby of Data Targeting, a Republican firm based in Florida. Searby wrote that they had been in touch with Rice through her chief of staff.
The group even performed early polls that showed she could do better than Trump or Hillary Clinton. She beat them by 10-25 percent among black and Hispanic voters polled in a three-way race.
2. Rice Has Said That She Is Happy At Stanford as a Professor
In September 2014, Fox News‘ Dana Perino reported that Rice was not interested in running for president in 2016. Rice also said herself on Fox News that she liked being a professor at Stanford University.
“I am a professor at Stanford. I am a happy professor at Stanford, that’s where I’m staying,” Rice said, via The Washington Post. “I got the chance to be the secretary of state. I’m an international relations specialist, it doesn’t get better than that.”
Rice, a PhD, teaches political science at Stanford. Her other current roles include Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC.
3. There Was Speculation She’d Run With Jeb Bush
In 2014, there was speculation that Rice might run with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as his running mate. This was even before Bush had announced his candidacy, which didn’t get very far. Bush dropped out after a poor performance in the South Carolina primary.
In an interview with Ozy.com, Rice shook off the idea of running as Bush’s VP, but said he would be “fantastic.” Still, it wasn’t a full endorsement because in the same sentence, she said that there were others considering a run who would be “outstanding.”
4. Aides Also Received Classified Information in Personal Emails
As the controversy over Clinton using a private server for official Secretary of State business continues, State Department officials did find that Rice’s aides also received classified information in personal emails. In February, NBC News obtained a memo from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick to Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy. It revealed that 10 emails with information later determined to be “classified” were sent to the personal accounts of Rice’s senior aides.
Rice commented on the situation through her chief of staff, Georgia Gofrey, who wrote to NBC News:
She did not use email as secretary nor use a personal email account. My understanding is that the report is in reference to emails sent to her assistant reporting diplomatic conversations and they contained no intelligence information.
The same memo alleged that Rice’s predecessor, Colin Powell, received two messages that were later classified as “confidential.” Powell denied the claims in an interview with NBC News.
5. Rice Was Well-Received at 2012 GOP Convention
Rice’s speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa was well-received by the crowd. As The Washington Post noted at the time, there was chatter that she would be chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Romney eventually chose Paul Ryan instead though.
There are a few reasons why Rice was ultimately passed over. Not only did her close ties to the George W. Bush Administration make Republicans weary of backing her, but she has also said that she’s not completely anti-abortion. There was also a rumor that she voted for President Barack Obama in 2008. She wouldn’t deny that in an interview with CBS News in 2008.
Another reason is that she has voiced repeatedly that she is not interested in political office again. It will take a lot of work to get Rice to run.