Regarding Dana Milbank’s Aug. 2 Sunday Opinion column, “Rice would be a lightning rod as the VP pick”:

Americans are global pariahs incarcerated in our country by a wall built of political, diplomatic and economic malfeasance. Susan E. Rice sidestepped the velvet-roped world of cookie pushers and ambassadorial pardon-mois and forgot to tip the doorman. She chided the notoriously prickly former senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) for wearing a flak jacket in a Baghdad marketplace and dared to deflate a half-century of éminence grise represented by Richard Holbrooke with the flick of her finger. If you ask me, well played.

We need to have a vice president ready to step in from day one, and Ms. Rice is the clear choice. The learning curve is steep, and asking Ms. Rice to tutor individuals because we’re afraid that she might upset someone somewhere is appalling. Suggesting that a woman who was an ambassador to the United Nations and an assistant secretary of state would fail because of a vetting process was absurd. Saying she brings the pedigree of “private school elite to the ticket” uses her success against her. She also brings the pedigree of a father, Emmett, who served as a Tuskegee Airman, and a mother, Lois, known as the mother of the Pell Grant and one of the first African American women to serve on a corporate board.

Ms. Rice confronted Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and, despite being portrayed as a “military hawk,” her attempts to negotiate with Rwandan President Paul Kagame revealed a nuance needed as vice president.

The nomination of any other candidate would play into the stereotypical Democratic appeasement and throw the election into doubt.

Greg Boyd, Washington