ABC News’ Luis Martinez Reports: State Department reporters once again pressed spokesman Sean McCormack about whether Condi Rice’s recent activity can be interpreted as a lobbying effort for the No. 2 spot on McCain’s ticket.
What activity you say?
Her recent speech to Grover Norquist’s conservative group, her expansive comments on race and education in America to the Washington Times editorial board, and an up close and personal spread in Fitness magazine "lifting weights and looking very human" as one reporter put it. To which McCormack jokingly replied "or superhuman . . . a big "C" on her chest."
"You know, I think if you look back at her tenure, in terms of her activities, you will find all of these activities perfectly normal and consistent with the way she has done her job over the past three years or so. So, like I said this morning, if she’s actively seeking the vice presidency, then she’s the last one to know about it. She plans on going back west of the Mississippi to Stanford when she’s completed her work as secretary of state," McCormack insisted.
"I think in her view, and certainly in my view, she’s given that many times over whenever she’s been asked this question. She was asked it most recently by . . . the Washington Times, and I think she gave a pretty definitive answer. She said, ‘Not interested. Time for new blood.’ She’s looking forward to going back to Stanford when she’s completed her work as secretary of state."
But, why not an airtight denial?
"I’ll tell you what. Next time you have a chance to ask her a question, you ask her that question, I’m sure she’ll give you a no. I’ll tell you no right now, but you can get it from her when you see her next."
Do you think she’ll consider running for California governor? McCormack was asked to a round of laughter among the journalists peppering him with questions.
"I think what she is considering is focusing on her work as secretary of state, because you may have missed it, but there’s actually quite a bit to do. There’s quite a bit left to do here as secretary of state. ….. left on the burner — on the burners right now, so she’s focused on that. And once her work as secretary of state is done, then she looks forward to going back out to California to resume her activities at Stanford. Keep in mind, she’s actually on leave from Stanford. She’s still a tenured professor at Stanford University."