I'm thinking that Augusta National's decision to let in Condi Rice was because nobody much outside South Carolina knew Darla Moore before yesterday.
Most of the guys in Augusta National, while rich and powerful as heck, are not very well-known outside of corporate circles. Maybe if you are a CNBC junkie and a Wall Street Journal subscriber, the names will mean something. Otherwise, no. It's just a bunch of former CEOs of Amalgamated Consolidateds and Universal Diversifieds and such.
Although Darla Moore is well-known in corporate circles and in South Carolina for spreading a lot of philanthropy moolah around, she's pretty close to the prototypical Augusta National member, except for being a woman and all, which is to say she can go through a hotel lobby without drawing a crowd.
But Condi? She's a rock star in Republican circles, and recently her name was being tossed around as a potential Mitt Romney running mate. She is probably one of the most well-known people on the planet. She was George W.'s consigliere, for goodness sakes.
So I'm thinking that when the boys were sittin' around the frat trying to figure which woman to invite in to get everyone off their collective backsides, Darla Moore was an easy choice because, heck, she's just like them (other than, like I said, the woman thing.) The problem was that if it was just Darla Moore, America would hear the news and go: Darla who? and flip to the news about that congressman skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee.
So I think they brought in Condi to give the announcement a little sizzle, a little pop. That's why there were two. Good old, rich as heck Darla. And that Rice woman. Who just squeaked into the first female Augusta pledge class because she had that National Security Advisor/Secretary of State/Stanford University Provost resume going on.
The day she walks into the club she becomes the smartest person in the joint. And easily one of the most accomplished.
And she instantly becomes its public face. She'll be wearing a green jacket next spring, sitting next to Jim Nantz, in a moment, for the Masters, unlike any other.