Jessie Jane Duff, National Chair of Americans for Doctor Rice
Interview at CPAC 2006, Feb. 2006

I became interested in Americans for Dr. Rice last year when I came to CPAC.  They had been actually put together for one month and they weren't really as formed as we are now.

But essentially I have served in the Marine Corps for 20 years.  I noticed Dr. Rice when she became our National Security Advisor.  Essentially I was amazed by her excellence, her polished presence, her ability to articulate and deal with foreign countries and deal with national security issues in a way that made it digestible, understandable--and I said to myself this is a lady that I could have as my commander in chief.  There was no doubt about that.

So when I met Americans for Dr. Rice I was thrilled that we had gotten some people that were actually interested and created a web page, and I said this is where I would like to be.  And I moved back to Washington, DC and I was offered the opportunity to be the national chair.  Which I felt was a great opportunity because one,  I'm advocating for not only a woman I believe in, an American I believe in and two or three, I can honestly say a Republican that can defeat any Democrat.  So that's how I came on board.

Now how do I feel about her saying she has no interest.  First of all she's in a political position that if she were to articulate any interest in the United States presidency our opponents would immediately say that she has an agenda and that she needs to resign as Secretary of State.  One thing when I've studied Condi Rice is that she looks at every task she has at hand and she knows that she must perfect and perform or excel at that.  She's not somebody who is navigating to do her next role, otherwise she'd be the NFL Commissioner right now.  Really.

She knows she is Secretary of State; she goes in the history books now as Secretary of State.  So the reality is she has to do an awesome job to be a great Secretary of State.  She will go nowhere unless she succeeds at this.  She has an opportunity now to really reshape the Mideast with foreign policy, to reshape our negotiations with nuclear proliferation in North Korea.  She is going to make a very powerful statement to the rest of the world.  And that is in her pocket.  She can do this and I believe she will.  And I think the success in Iraq -- you'll hear people say that there isn't success.  But the fact that they've had a Constitution written in 2 years and 3 votes and 85 % of their people are involved in the political process is a statement to Condi Rice, because she's been directly involved in all of this.  And it took how many years for us to get our Constitution written and drafted?  So I think her history and credibility will be really based on what she's doing now and she knows that.  So when she says she's not interested, absolutely because she's interested in being a great Secretary of State.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION: What specific things can you guys do to advance your cause?

JESSE JANE DUFF: Well we have several factors that are going right now.  One, we've got to build a base.  We're trying to build a base within certain locations.  One, Iowa and New Hampshire which are right out of the gates first...  They are what we call retail states, so we're making a presence there.  I'm getting national people to be chairs like in California, Florida, Alabama, key places where we know we'll have strong Condi support.  We want to get her on the ballot in Florida where she doesn't have to even be a candidate.  We can get here on through signatures.  Once we have her on the ballot, I personally believe that Condi's a true patriot and will recognize the American people want her to do this and then she knows, you know what, like Eisenhower they need me to do this; they're asking me to do this and we've already set the base.  If we prove to her that there's a strong Republican base that wants her and calls her to this I think that lack of interest will turn into interest.