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And 43 Weighs In...Almost

U.S. President George W. Bush sits among students during a visit to Maasai Girls School in Arusha, Tanzania, February 18, 2008. (Reuters.)

By Peter Baker
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania -- His father, brother and former advisers are now all officially on the John McCain bandwagon and President Bush is edging ever closer himself. But as titular head of the party, he still can't quite bring himself to declare the Republican contest over.

Bush laughed off suggestions Monday that the McCain campaign would want him to raise funds but not appear too publicly or too often for him. "I'm sitting in Tanzania -- I don't know what the McCain campaign said," he told NBC News during an interview on his Africa trip. "But I'll help him in any way I can."

The president went on to express confidence that McCain could beat whomever the Democrats nominate. "He's going to win, too," Bush said, then quickly added, "if he ends up being the nominee. Now he's still got -- as I understand it, Mike Huckabee's still in the race. But if John's the nominee, he'll win."

NBC's Ann Curry tried to entice the president into weighing in on the Democratic side, to no avail. She asked him if he would like to see a woman or African American serve as president in his lifetime.

Bush turned it around with a joke. "Would I like to see Condi Rice president? Is that what you're asking?"

Not really, but nice try.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 18, 2008; 3:28 PM ET
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What would be wrong with that? She is from California and would provide continuity / balance as against either Dem. Would you prefer 8 more years of Cheney again?

Posted by: JakeD | February 19, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if both George and Laura were pushing for McCain to pick Condi as his VP.

Posted by: TomJx | February 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Why do you think that was a "joke"?

Posted by: JakeD | February 18, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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