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No "Shermanesque" Statement from Rice

By Glenn Kessler
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won't quite say "No."

After her spokesman yesterday said, "If she is actively seeking the vice presidency, then she's the last one to know about it," a reporter today pressed the issue and asked why Rice has not "made sort of a Shermanesque denial about this speculation that you might run for vice president."

Rice responded with a well-worn refrain: "Let me just say, first of all, that Senator McCain is an extraordinary American, a really outstanding leader, and obviously a great patriot. That said, I'm going back to Stanford or back to California, west of the Mississippi. I very much look forward to watching this campaign and voting as a voter."

She then ticked off some of the issues on her plate as the nation's top diplomat, and concluded: "This is obviously a very busy agenda. And here I sit with my Mexican and Canadian counterparts on hemispheric issues. So I have a lot of work to do, and then I'll happily go back to Stanford."

This familiar verbiage does not quite close the door. This is how American Civil War General William T. Sherman famously put it when asked if he would be the GOP candidate in the presidential election of 1884: "If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve."

Another person who recently became the subject of vice presidential speculation, Sen. Hillary Clinton-backer Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, even invoked Sherman's quote when asked about the possibility, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Strickland added: "You just can stop any thought of the vice presidency. That's not something that I'm interested in."

Posted at 12:25 PM ET on Apr 8, 2008  | Category:  John McCain
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Comments

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One shining difference between McCain and Bush has been McCain's principled opposition to the idea that Americans should torture others. Condi is an architect of the rendition and torture policies that are morally anathema to many Americans who remember what this country is supposed to stand for. If McCain were to nominate her for VP, many Americans standing with McCain because he stands for American principle would need to take another look!

Posted by: Davis | May 4, 2008 7:21 PM

Whatever you think about Condileeza Rice, she is not stupid. I think she actually does prefer the more civil world of academia to the rough and tumble world of Washington politics. Who could blame her. I seriously doubt she would accept an offer to be John McCain's running mate.

I also doubt that McCain will offer it to her. Having her on the ticket would lend more creedence to Obama's refrain that McCain would be a third term for Bush. The Democratic candidate will be a novelty this year--either the first African American or the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major party.

I don't think it is a good idea for McCain to try to out glitz and glamour the Democrats by picking someone like Rice. It is better to reflect an image of experience and steady leadership than to go for a marquee selection for veep.

All this Rice for VP talk has about as much credibility as other rumors that have come and gone during this election cycle such as Gore, Hagel, and Bloomberg running for president.

Pundits must be disatisfied with the current choice of candidates and feel the need to start rumors involving what they perceive to be more exciting figures running.

Posted by: Daniel Hancock | April 9, 2008 11:09 AM

As I've stated (several times), my middle name is MOORE -- as in "I want MOORE JakeD!!" -- but, then again, I am not running for President.

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 1:53 PM

Aren't middle names great?

Posted by: Jake NUMBNUTS D | April 8, 2008 1:50 PM

ManUnitdFan:

Actually, a couple recent polls out here in California have John SIDNEY McCain within striking distance of Hillary DIANE Clinton -- Arnold cannot run as VP unfortunately -- take a look for yourself: http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Clinton/Graphs/california.html

If Barack HUSSEIN Obama gets the nomination, maybe McCain could ask Dianne EMIEL Feinstein?

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 1:34 PM

Hadassah, Hailey, Hannah, Hanrietta, Harriet, Hattie, Heather, Heidi, Helen, Helene, Helga, Heloise, Hermia, Hero, Hillary (hopefully not), Holly, Hope, or Hypate?

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 1:30 PM

Condi as the VP does not put California "in play." Even a popular Republican wouldn't turn California purple, save maybe for Schwarzenegger.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | April 8, 2008 1:26 PM

According to the Washington Life Magazine (who must have gotten the info from an official invitation list), Condi's middle name starts with an "H":

http://www.washingtonlife.com/issues/2004-12/sociallist/

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 1:21 PM

DCDave:

Maybe he wants to put California in play? As for a "foreign policy" team, what if al Qaeda pulls off another 9/11 (or, God forbid, worse)?

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 1:13 PM

God this will be a godsend in the general for the Dems. A foreign policy Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate when the economy is in trouble. Even Obama can beat that ticket.

The only thing I can think of is that McCain is worried Obama might pick up some southern states because of high african american turnout, but unless he has numbers I don't have that seems unlikely at best.

Posted by: DCDave | April 8, 2008 1:03 PM

Maybe she just has a middle initial, like Harry S Truman?

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:50 PM

GO CONDI (does anyone know her middle name?) RICE!!!

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:38 PM

Dr. Rice, as you deal with our Bordering Countries;
Do take a look at the Absolut Vodka Ad! :-(

It speaks VOLUMES about just what our Amigos Down South are REALLY all about.

Reconquista? La Invasora?

No creo YO! :-(

Comprende?

Posted by: Rat-The | April 8, 2008 12:30 PM

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