U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she’s flattered to be on a short list of vice presidential candidates presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain is considering as a running mate, but that it’s time for her to leave the workings of government to “new blood.”
Rice tells FOXNews Thursday she plans to return to Stanford University in California at the conclusion of President Bush’s administration, where she began her career as a political science professor and Russian specialist in the early ’80s. She later held the position of Provost at the university.
“Obviously, it’s dearly flattering people think that [I would be a great vice presidential running mate for Senator John McCain], but, no. It’s time for me to go back to Stanford,” Rice says.
“Eight years is a long time [in office], particularly in the circumstances we’ve gone through.”
Speculation has swirled around Rice being named to the GOP general election ticket since McCain wrapped up the party’s nomination more than three months ago. Only now, however, has she finally ruled out the idea of being the Senator from Arizona’s choice for the number two spot.
“I am quite certain that Senator McCain is going to find a really great running mate,” she acknowledges. “He himself is a terrific patriot. He’s a good friend, but it’s time for me to do something else.”
Rice, who for years has been bandied about as a potential Republican presidential candidate for her extensive foreign policy expertise and experience in national security issues, says she looks forward to returning to civilian life.
“Government service is a wonderful thing,” she admits. “But you have to know when your time is up – and it’s time for new blood.”
Rice notes the current administration still has six months left to complete the important tasks it has taken on and says she and the president have a very active agenda in front of them.
“We’re going to sprint to the finish,” Rice says, “and then I’m going to sprint back to the West Coast.”
What will Rice do to keep busy at Stanford when she leaves office in January?
“I have a lot of issues that I’m interested in,” she explains.
“I’m particularly interested in issues of global competiveness for the United States. I’ve been a long-time advocate of concern about our educational system because I consider it a national security priority to educate our people so that we’re confidant in leading and confidant in competing,” Rice says.
“I’m looking forward to going back to those issues.”
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