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Rice again denies V.P. aspirations

The Secretary of State  has plans to head west after her time in the Bush cabinet— not plans to be vice president.
US Mexico Canada
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, center, at a news conference Tuesday, insisted she was looking forward to watching the 2008 campaign and voting as a voter.Stephen J. Boitano / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Condoleezza Rice has plans to head West after her time as secretary of State — not plans to be vice president.

She stressed Tuesday that she has no aspirations to join John McCain as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket this fall. McCain, an Arizona senator, has wrapped up the GOP presidential nomination.

"Senator McCain is an extraordinary American, a really outstanding leader and obviously a great patriot," Rice said at a State Department news conference with the foreign ministers of Canada and Mexico. "That said, I am going back to Stanford, back to California, west of the Mississippi. I very much look forward to watching this campaign and voting as a voter."

Rice served as provost and taught as a professor at Stanford University. She said she'll be busy with her work at the State Department before returning to the campus.

"You just asked about trying to complete the denuclearization of North Korea," she told reporters. "I was (also) on the phone with Abu Mazen this morning about his meetings yesterday with Prime Minister Olmert," she added, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

She said she also spoke with the new Pakistani foreign minister and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about Darfur and Kosovo.

"This is obviously a very busy agenda, and here I sit with my Mexican and Canadian counterparts on hemispheric issues. So, I have a lot of work to do and then I will happily go back to Stanford."