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Bush-Rice 2004? | The rise and rise of Condi
The Sunday Times of London ^ | March 24, 2002 | Andrew Sullivan

Posted on 03/25/2002 1:05:22 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative

Bush-Rice 2004?

The rise and rise of Condi

Her presence is not obtrusive but it is constant. President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, is rarely that far away from the president. Her office is a few doors down the corridor from the Oval Office, she's a weekend guest at Camp David almost all the time, she's central to Russia policy, a fixture at war counsels, and reliable crisis-avoider and manager in all types of emergencies. When Bush, for example, realized that he would face embarrassment at this weekend's Monterrey summit on foreign aid, it was a "Get me Condi" moment. The negotiations that significantly increased Washington's foreign aid budget last week were conducted with the World Bank president, James D. Wolfensohn, by Condoleezza Rice. This was too critical a matter to be left to the usual point-man, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

Rice isn't the first National Security Adviser to exercise enormous influence on a president. Kissinger was Nixon's, after all. But Rice's widely acknowledged role as closest confidant to Bush is particularly striking given the stature of her colleagues. Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Colin Powell, are not exactly foreign policy light-weights. They are of course critical members of the inner circle, but it's Condi who tends to get the last, confidential word. As Bob Woodward has reported, Bush would often ask Rice, during the tensest moments of the post-September 11 crisis, to attend meetings but not to speak. This wasn't because he didn't want her advice. It was because he wanted her to be a second, silent arbiter of the discussion. He wanted her not to advance a position, but to act as an alternate set of eyes and ears, to check her gut against his in weighing the options. And quite regularly, the last conference Bush has about many foreign policy decisions is with Condi.

The relationship started with the campaign, when Rice was essentially appointed as Bush's foreign policy guru. She has all the Establishment credentials. Educated at the University of Denver and Notre Dame, Rice became a professor of political science at Stanford, then special assistant to the first president Bush, then senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institute, before becoming provost of Stanford. This impeccable conservative pedigree comes with what are clearly formidable schmoozing skills. Her name gives it away. It's from the Italian musical notation con 'dolcezza' - to play "with sweetness" - and Rice deploys that low-key, unruffled timbre throughout her work. It's partly what Bush likes about her. Not just the expertise and collegiality - but the ordered precision and politesse that helps him keep private order amid public mayhem.

And of course she's a black woman. I've kept this till last, since it's not the most important thing about her. But it's still, it seems to me, an amazing fact that one of the most important members of Washington's inner circle, currently among the most powerful inner circles the world has ever seen, is a member of a classically marginalized group. If this were a Democratic administration, you could be sure that the press would have hailed her as a breakthrough in civil rights, and touted her gender and ethnicity as a central part of her appeal. The Bush style eschews that kind of identity-mongering. But her presence sends an unmistakable signal about what conservatism should mean now: completely comfortable with minorities, eager to incorporate them into the heart of culture and government, but never crudely exploitative or racially obsessed, like parts of the left.

Her presence in the administration is also, I think, medicine for the abuse of women that occurred under Clinton. Don't get me wrong. Many Clinton policies were friendlier to the agenda of various feminist groups than Bush's. Clinton deserves credit for greatly increasing the number of women in government, and for appointing many minorities and women to cabinet rank. Clinton appointed the first female secretary of state and the first female attorney-general, for example. But the role of those two women, Madeleine Albright and Janet Reno, shows something less admirable about Clinton's personal relations with female colleagues. They were never really part of the loop. Reno was an attorney-general more estranged from her president than any in recent history. Albright was a cipher. When real foreign policy work needed to be accomplished, Clinton turned to men with whom he was more comfortable - Sandy Berger, for example, or Richard Holbrooke. No American president has ever had such a key, close political relationship with a female equal than Bush with Rice. It's very striking, very modern and barely noticed by a press that prefers the archetype of Bush as a macho cowboy than a yuppie, multicultural businessman of the 21st Century.

What's more this woman is black. And by black, I mean much more like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas than Colin Powell. Powell is from a family of Caribbean immigrants. His lineage doesn't fuse him with the scar of slavery, segregation and Southern unrest that attaches itself to most African-Americans. Rice was born in 1954, the year that racial segregation in America's high-schools was finally ruled unconstitutional. But Rice, like many others, saw little change at first, and was in segregated schools in the South until a teenager. A nursery school class-mate of hers was one of four girls killed when white extremists bombed a church in Alabama in 1963. But she had a classic middle-class success story. The grand-daughter of a devout share-cropper, she lived to see her own father become vice-chancellor of the University of Denver and graduate from the college herself at the tender age of 19. Driven by hard-working parents, Rice could play concert piano, speak four languages, and earn a doctorate in her early twenties. She is perhaps an almost painful example of what opportunities do actually exist for black Americans with stable families and middle-class values in America today. That's surely part of why Bush picked her. She's not just an advisor; she's an emblem.

All of which has led some in Washington to wonder what's next for her. It can surely only be more. Most believe that Dick Cheney may well decide to bow out of running for vice-president again for health or family reasons. Could Bush-Rice be the potential Republican ticket in 2004? The attractions are obvious. Rice does several things for Bush. She helps eradicate the gender gap, the biggest liability for Republican candidates. She could also help Bush to achieve his dream of winning more than the paltry ten percent of black votes he did in 2000, a demographic group Democrats desperately need to keep locked up to keep an edge in presidential politics. Rice - coming from the South and Mountain West, but also provost of one of California's greatest universities - makes geographic sense as well. And, best of all, she's a trusted conservative. Her instincts are Bush's: realist, uncompromising but flexible in a pinch. And he trusts her deeply. When you think about it, it's hard to think of any rival in the cabinet with the same credentials for a future vice-presidential nomination. And what it would do for the image of the Republican party as a whole would be momentous.

There's a catch. Rice is single. There hasn't been an unmarried candidate for president or vice-president in modern times. This shouldn't matter, but it might. In the hideously invasive world of today's press, Rice's private life might be scrutinized in ways she would rightly find intolerable. But knowing Bush, this wouldn't stop him. He picks the people he wants - against conventional wisdom. Everyone forgets how controversial a choice Dick Cheney was. In 2004, the shock could be exponentially larger.

Related articles:

RNC poll for 2004?

Eleanor Clift on Bush-Rice 2004


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Alabama; US: California
KEYWORDS: 2004; condoleezzarice; drcondoleezzarice
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1 posted on 03/25/2002 1:05:22 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative
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To: GraniteStateConservative
I've been pondering the reason why I always seem to really love a black conservative. Is it because they're black and I think that would be good for us? I've decided that isn't it.

The reason I am drawn to Condi Rice, JC Watts, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams...(not really Colin Powell)..is because of what it takes to be a black conservative. You have to be an outside the box, free thinker. You have to have really looked at the facts and made a choice based on reason, not popularity. Those are the kinds of personalities I like best and respect most. They seem to nearly always be present in the black conservative.

2 posted on 03/25/2002 1:11:58 PM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: GraniteStateConservative
Add Alan Keyes. I wouldn't want to forget him.

YOu also have to be strong and able to stand on your own two feet for principles you believe in, no matter what cost.

3 posted on 03/25/2002 1:13:25 PM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: GraniteStateConservative
I never thought of that before. If Condi is the best choice for next VP, then go for it. I don't expect it to influence the black vote, though. See Clarence Thomas.
4 posted on 03/25/2002 1:14:12 PM PST by gcruse
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To: GraniteStateConservative
The last thing this country needs is more CFR Marxist type indoctrinates in our government.
5 posted on 03/25/2002 1:14:36 PM PST by eskimo
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To: GraniteStateConservative
I think she's great - but the one issue crowd are going to have a seizure if she's GWB's running mate. They are so hung up about abortion they'd perfer stay at home and not vote. (an attitude which gave us Hillary, by the way).
6 posted on 03/25/2002 1:18:33 PM PST by Utopia
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To: GraniteStateConservative
The only real problem with her is that she is pro-choice. If she would promise to appoint strict constructionalist Justices who would return the abortion issue to the states if she were to become president, I'd probably accept it. Bush would simply need to be aware that there would be people willing to kill him simply to create the first black woman president by fiat.
7 posted on 03/25/2002 1:18:45 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: GraniteStateConservative; Diago
A recent thread regarding Condi:

WOULD CONDI RICE AND COLIN POWELL BE "PRO-CHOICE" ON SLAVERY?

8 posted on 03/25/2002 1:23:00 PM PST by Artist
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To: GraniteStateConservative
If she were picked simply because she's Black, then that would be a huge mistake. However, she should be picked because, after Dick Cheney, she's the best qualified for the job.

(Though it should be noted that Dick Cheney is enjoying hunting all of these "undisclosed locations" he's been sent to!)

9 posted on 03/25/2002 1:27:02 PM PST by Redcloak
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To: GraniteStateConservative
If Condi came out of Bushes' inner sanctum and lost her ability to be his final private sounding board, she would then leave Bush vulnerable to the lefties.

A VP has to take a public stand on issues, and those issues may differ from those of the President.

But it would be a great ticket, and would make the black and femi-nazi voter factions stand up and take notice.

10 posted on 03/25/2002 1:31:20 PM PST by aShepard
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To: Question_Assumptions
Lets get real clear about something. Conservatives will put up with a lot but if a pro choice candidate joins the Bush ticket he will lose a lot a support. It will be "no new taxes" all over again. I supported GW as a precinct worker for the entire year before the election and since then as well, but even I have my limits. --MM
11 posted on 03/25/2002 1:34:43 PM PST by mustapha mond
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To: RAT Patrol
Totally agree. It makes me happy that not all minorities buy into the liberal condescension that the left proffers. I feel the same way about the log cabin republicans, and about dems that break ranks.
12 posted on 03/25/2002 1:43:49 PM PST by ellery
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To: Question_Assumptions

Condi is pro-choice like most American women are: that is, she would, given her druthers, probably prefer to have the issue returned to the states. I know that she is opposed to abortion-on-demand; she is, for instance, in favor of parental rights and notification. Like everyone else who is close to GWB, she is against partial-birth. Anyone who describes herself as a Second-Amendment absolutist is going to appoint Strict Constructionists to the High Court. Thus her "mildly pro-choice" approach to the abortion issue probably stems from her latent libertarian instincts. In short, she is not a feminazi.

Look, folks, I'm a supporter of hers in spite of this because I know that she is hyper-qualified for the Presidency. So is Dick Cheney, but he ain't gettin' any younger.

But the delicious thing about Condi is that she gives the Republican Party an absolute edge among Soccer Moms and other female voters while maintaining our commanding lead among white men. Black voters will still vote for the Democrat, simply because they've been conditioned to vote. The Democrats could run a Hitler-Heydrich ticket and they'd still win the black vote.

I promise you, a Bush-Rice ticket will absolutely stomp the opposition. Which will put Rice in a position to wipe the floor with the Hildebeast in the great Hair Pull of 2008.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

13 posted on 03/25/2002 1:54:06 PM PST by section9
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To: GraniteStateConservative
I keep hearing whispers that sound like this: "Bush and Giuliani, Bush and Giuliani..." Dunno if it's true, but would be interesting.

Condi Rice does whip serious ass. Any time you see a black conservative you know you're dealing with one seriously intelligent and fearless human being.

14 posted on 03/25/2002 1:54:49 PM PST by Jonathon Spectre
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To: Utopia
Single issue voters have a one-track mind...and are usually successfully side-tracked by the liberals.

Interesting how they allow the liberals to manipulate them and then turn around and blame the Republicans for putting them in the situation.

15 posted on 03/25/2002 1:57:33 PM PST by Redleg Duke
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To: ellery
To a point I can agree with you on the log cabin republicans. As long as it's genuine and not phony in order to advance an agenda. I will not join them in their fight for gay adoption, teaching homosexuality in schools, boy scouts....anything that deals with children. Forget about it. I do not believe in gay marriage either, for the same reason. But they deserve the same human rights as the rest of us, obviously. I have no problem with fighting the cause of AIDS. That's a humanitarian issue. I am not sure if the LCR does push the gay agenda as it applies to children. My guess is they do.
16 posted on 03/25/2002 1:58:18 PM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: Redleg Duke
Single issue voters have a one-track mind...and are usually successfully side-tracked by the liberals.

Interesting how they allow the liberals to manipulate them and then turn around and blame the Republicans for putting them in the situation.

Wow! That's well said. So well said, I'll repeat it again.

17 posted on 03/25/2002 2:00:08 PM PST by Utopia
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To: GraniteStateConservative
I'd vote for Rice for President or Vice-President in a heartbeat. She is intelligent, thoughtful, charming, conservative and beautiful.

The Republican Party will be the first to break the color and sex barrier and I hope its with a qualified, capable woman like this lady.

And I wish they would exile Colon Powell to Tom Jefford's Office.

18 posted on 03/25/2002 2:01:48 PM PST by ZULU
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To: GraniteStateConservative
The RATS' worst nightmare.
19 posted on 03/25/2002 2:03:18 PM PST by Aaron_A
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To: GraniteStateConservative
As previously mentioned numerous times here on FR, the wining GOP ticket for 2008 may well be: Jeb Bush/Condi Rice.
20 posted on 03/25/2002 2:03:52 PM PST by summer
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To: Jonathon Spectre
I don't agree with Rice on Abortion, I am far more Pro Life. I could live with her position on Abortion if she would appoint Strict Constructionist/conservatives to the Bench. Rudy did a great job after 9-11, but I couldn't live with him as a veep is a RINO who is a radical pro abortionist, no way Rudy can be the veep.
21 posted on 03/25/2002 2:04:01 PM PST by Leto
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To: GraniteStateConservative
Clinton deserves credit for greatly increasing the number of women in government...beginning with Monica.
22 posted on 03/25/2002 2:04:11 PM PST by Slyfox
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To: summer
wining = winning
23 posted on 03/25/2002 2:04:13 PM PST by summer
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To: GraniteStateConservative
What elective offices has she held? Just wondering.
24 posted on 03/25/2002 2:06:12 PM PST by Edmund Burke
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To: summer
As previously mentioned numerous times here on FR, the wining GOP ticket for 2008 may well be: Jeb Bush/Condi Rice

Huh. Well, that sure would put a dent in Hillary's plans.

25 posted on 03/25/2002 2:06:45 PM PST by Slyfox
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To: RAT Patrol
I'm not sure either... All I know is, I just love seeing the dems' traditional base erode:-)
26 posted on 03/25/2002 2:08:22 PM PST by ellery
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To: Slyfox
Well, that's the breaks! :)
27 posted on 03/25/2002 2:11:31 PM PST by summer
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To: RAT Patrol
Also add Starr Parker...
28 posted on 03/25/2002 2:11:32 PM PST by redhead
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To: GraniteStateConservative
Sorry, won't be enough to erase the serious wounding of the Constitution, Bush will do when he signs CFR.

Pubbies are betting the minority vote (read Hispanic and Afro-American) will be enough to make up for the loss of what once was the conservative wing of the Republican party.

29 posted on 03/25/2002 2:19:23 PM PST by Militiaman7
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To: RAT Patrol
wow ... your #2 hits it exactly on the head ... wonderfully expressed ... when any of us thinks how personally difficult it can be in certain circumstances to express conservative principles ... then when you look at black conservatives, you really must have a sense of awe and admiration
30 posted on 03/25/2002 2:24:15 PM PST by Urbane_Guerilla
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To: Edmund Burke
What elective offices has she held? Just wondering.

None. This is her biggest weakness, but I don't think it's fatal by any means.

31 posted on 03/25/2002 2:24:54 PM PST by Stultis
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To: Stultis

Given the fact that she has more brains, character, and honesty than about 99% of the politicians out there, I wouldn't hold her lack of elective office against her.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

32 posted on 03/25/2002 2:28:11 PM PST by section9
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To: RAT Patrol
I used to wonder that too- but I think it is just I LIKE THE WAY CONSERVATIVES THINK, and I guess it is just such a refreshing change from the race-baiting jesse jackson or 'reverned' sharpton...
33 posted on 03/25/2002 2:29:12 PM PST by Mr. K
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To: GraniteStateConservative
If elected, I wonder if Condi would burst into tears on national TV and offer teary encomiums to Dorothy Dandridge and Sidney Poiter and her lawyer and her agent.
34 posted on 03/25/2002 2:32:30 PM PST by The Great Satan
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To: GraniteStateConservative
From the article) Everyone forgets how controversial a choice Dick Cheney was..

It's easy to forget something that never happened.

35 posted on 03/25/2002 2:33:30 PM PST by T. Jefferson
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To: GraniteStateConservative
Wouldn't it just chap the 'rats' hides for Republicans to give this country its first black and its first female VP, and have her be eminently qualified to boot.
36 posted on 03/25/2002 2:39:38 PM PST by alnick
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To: ZULU
And I wish they would exile Colon Powell to Tom Jefford's Office.

Send Colin Powell there, too. Or send 'em both to Jim Jeffords' office...

: )

37 posted on 03/25/2002 2:44:18 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative
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To: Leto
Actually, I suspect Rice's views on abortion are that it is a state issue (a more libertarian viewpoint)-- which is pretty much Antonin Scalia's view.
38 posted on 03/25/2002 2:46:04 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative
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To: Edmund Burke
Same ones as Ross Perot-- and 20% of the country thought he'd make a good President.

Actually, she was Provost of Stanford-- a highly political job.

39 posted on 03/25/2002 2:47:48 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative
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To: eskimo
The last thing this country needs is more CFR Marxist type indoctrinates in our government.

Please outline the Marxist elements present in the policies advocated by Ms. Rice. Please be specific.

40 posted on 03/25/2002 2:49:07 PM PST by TigerTale
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To: summer
As previously mentioned numerous times here on FR, the wining GOP ticket for 2008 may well be: Jeb Bush/Condi Rice.

Why not Rice/Bush, instead?

41 posted on 03/25/2002 2:52:02 PM PST by TigerTale
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To: GraniteStateConservative
She has my vote.
42 posted on 03/25/2002 2:52:08 PM PST by Britton J Wingfield
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To: T. Jefferson
No, it was controversial because people expected him to pick someone like Chris Cox of California-- someone young and someone from the current crop of Republicans (rather than someone from the Ford Administration). It was also controversial because they both came from the energy industry.
43 posted on 03/25/2002 2:53:21 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative
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To: TigerTale
I suspect that she would do a better job than Carol Mosely Braun. :-)
44 posted on 03/25/2002 2:57:15 PM PST by glorgau
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To: GraniteStateConservative
I need to know more about Rice before I back her, but I will say this: everything I've heard about her so far makes her sound like a candidate tailor-made for me.
45 posted on 03/25/2002 2:59:33 PM PST by Physicist
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To: section9
I agree. I love Condi Rice.

As a woman, she is someone to be proud of.

I know we all hate DU here, but you should have seen the comments they were making a couple of weeks ago when the internal poll came out saying she was a frontrunner for VP choice.

The race baiting started right away, claiming that "those evil, racist Freepers would never allow this." Maybe someone should go over there and point out all of the forums in praise of her.

Section9, you seem to know her the best, why don't you do it?

46 posted on 03/25/2002 3:07:57 PM PST by codercpc
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To: GraniteStateConservative
That "DR." Condi Rice By The Way to the uninitiated.After being head of the N.S.C. for the next 7 years,I don't believe she would take that job,(V.P.)without knowing exactly what that job description entails.Cheney's a different kind of human,to take that present position.(That 'present position' has changed WAY beyond ALGORE'S wasted 8 years of posing and wandering aimlessly as the 2nd fiddle to the spawn of the devil.)I just can't see that happening,but I also don't know if it's going to rain tomorrow either.Just pondering this seems wrong.You think anything but DEATH (or a poorly run re-election campaign)is going to get Dick Cheney out of Washington?Remember,it's all about "Power".I think he wields it rather effectively on TV by the way too.
47 posted on 03/25/2002 3:18:09 PM PST by Pagey
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To: GraniteStateConservative
Oh, and if we could get through 1 election (Just 1),w/out mentioning the word Abortion,Pro-Life,Pro-choice, Pro whatever about abortion,Oh, I forgot, that's impossible,sorry I brought it up.
48 posted on 03/25/2002 3:26:24 PM PST by Pagey
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To: TigerTale
Re your post #41 - Wyy not? That combo sounds good too!
49 posted on 03/25/2002 4:07:46 PM PST by summer
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To: TigerTale
Whh = Why
50 posted on 03/25/2002 4:08:50 PM PST by summer
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