Rice 'Gratified' by Obama Win
By Mary Beth Sheridan
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pronounced herself "gratified" and unsurprised by Sen. Barack Obama's win in the Democratic presidential primary during an interview at the Susan G. Komen National Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., today.
"As an American, it's a great thing. As a black American, it's a great thing. Our country's extraordinary. We've overcome a lot," she said. "And I'm very gratified, but not surprised."
Rice attributed her lack of surprise to her belief that "America's a country that slowly but surely has been overcoming what I call its birth defect" -- racial inequality -- and to her conviction, after traveling "all over the world," that "this country ... does better in bringing together in the same body people of difference than any place in the world."
"I believe that Americans will now make their choices based on policy, and that's the best thing about this. Because it just shows who we are as a country," Rice continued. "And I think black Americans are achieving, and they're doing well, and we look at the number of people who are CEOs and in high positions, black Americans are achieving -- and achievers. What we have to make sure is everybody has an opportunity for a quality education, and that to me is probably now our biggest single challenge."
Rice again dismissed suggestions that she might be a potential running mate for presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain.
"I really look forward to watching this as a voter," she said.
"I am not going to run for elected office, it's not what I do, who I am. I am going to go back West of the Mississippi, where I belong... I really think of myself as a West Coast person."
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