Earlier this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attended Grover Norquist’s weekly “powerhouse gathering.” One GOP operative noted that the only reason high-ranking officials go to the right-wing meeting is to “secure” their political futures. At that meeting, Rice never publicly stated whether she was interested in the vice presidential spot.
But Newsmax reports that privately, Rice has indicated to prominent conservatives that she is very interested:
Despite saying she wants to return to Stanford University, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has let it be known in Republican circles that she would consider running for vice president if asked.
One source told Newsmax that she expressed interest in the possibility when Rudy Giuliani was running for president. Another source said she has more recently let her interest be known discreetly within top Republican circles, presumably including John McCain’s camp.
Is Rice actually interested in running for vice president, or is this just a stunt to grab the media’s attention? After all, the media have largely lost interest in Rice’s activities lately. In 2005, an “unprecedented 19 reporters” accompanied Rice on her first overseas trip as Secretary of State. But on her most recent trip to the Middle East, just three wire services and three newspapers joined her. None of the networks even sent a camera crew.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Rice has embarked on a PR campaign to improve her public image. Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler reported that shortly after Rice became Secretary of State, she directed an aide to “plant a question” asking if she would run for president in order to help “negate American memories of her very direct role” in invading Iraq. The move was intended to give Rice the “aura of someone who might have presidential aspirations” and “make her seem more powerful than she was.”