Is she or isn’t she?

The rumors have been swirling for a while now that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was interested in the vice presidential nod, and today they reached fever pitch after this ABC News report:

ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is actively courting the vice presidential nomination, Republican strategist Dan Senor said.

“Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for this” Senor said this morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

According to Senor, Rice has been cozying up to the Republican elite.

“There’s this ritual in Washington: The Americans for Tax Reform, which is headed by Grover Norquist, he holds a weekly meeting of conservative leaders — about 100, 150 people, sort of inside, chattering, class types” Senor said. “They all typically get briefings from political conservative leaders. Ten days ago, they had an interesting visit — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — the first time a secretary of state has visited the Wednesday meeting.”

Steve Clemons wrote about that meeting here.

Other sources say Condi’s not interested in a veep selection:

But on Monday State Department spokesman Sean McCormack shot down speculation that Rice may be vying to be McCain’s running mate, saying she is still technically a tenured professor on leave from Stanford and she would be returning there at the end of the year.

Another very well-placed source inside Rice’s office told FOX News it’s “laugh out loud funny” that Senor would know anything about Rice’s plans since he has no connection to her at all.

The source said Rice’s plan is to go back to California after President Bush leaves the White House.

“Don’t buy the Condi talk. She is out (of) here β€” to have her life back” the source said.

If Rice is vying for the job, it also appears to be news to McCain, who has noted in the past that Rice shares some responsibility for what he calls the initial failed strategy in Iraq.

“I did not hear that. I missed those signals. I think she’s a great American. I think there’s very little that I can say that isn’t anything but the utmost praise for a great American citizen” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said, adding that she has served as a role model to millions of people around the world.

“As I mentioned to you, we’re not talking about the process because it just then gets into things that could easily to spill over into an invasion of privacy. I’m a great admirer of Secretary Rice just like all people” he said.

I seriously, seriously doubt that even if she were vying for the nomination, she would be picked by McCain. The left’s attacks on Rice – and the media’s complicity – would be vicious, because they see her more so than even John McCain an extension of President Bush on every major foreign policy decision, especially as it relates to Iraq. In other words, she’s got a lot of baggage McCain doesn’t need. Not only that, but she is not popular even among some conservatives who believe she’s accomplished very little in her role in her leadership position at State. Not only that, but the Obama camp would have a field day going after McCain for choosing a woman he previously criticized regarding the admin’s Iraq strategy.

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