- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2014

Condoleeza Rice, former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State to President George W. Bush, as NFL commissioner?

Yes, says Mr. Bush’s former deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, who insists Ms. Rice — a long-time fan of the game — would be the perfect replacement for Roger Goodell.

“I think Condi would succeed in any job she had, as she did when she was National Security Adviser, Secretary of State, Provost of Stanford, etc.,” Mr. Rove told Buzzfeed. “If it’s a job she wants, with her encyclopedic knowledge of the sport and passion for the game, I have no doubt she’d be great.”

Ms. Rice’s former speechwriter at the State Department said similarly.

“She knows and loves the game, and her leadership could energize the leagues and attract a broader fan base for the sport,” Elise Jordan said, Newsmax reported.

Mr. Goodell is facing fire for his handling of the Ray Rice issue.

And though the idea of Ms. Rice taking on the football league role might seem odd to some, those who know her best say she’s a natural for the job.

“She would talk a lot about [football] even with foreign leaders who did not necessarily follow the game,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Mr. Bush, Newsmax reported. “She brings energy, diversity, increased interest by women in the game. … I think it would be a positive change at the top. I think it would be great. When she sees a problem, she goes after it. She’s tenacious.”

On top of that, Ms. Rice said to The New York Times in 2002 that she would love the job as NFL commissioner — that it would be a dream position.

“I think it would be a very interesting job because I actually think football, with all due respect to baseball, is a kind of national pastime that brings people together across social lines, across racial lines,” she said then, Newsmax reported. “And I think it’s an important American institution.” 

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