CRAWFORD, Texas – Condoleezza Rice, ever the sharp diplomat, found some nice — and some would even say effusive — comments about the man who was just picked to be the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket for the November election.
Rice, a Republican who plans to back John McCain, offered the kind words about Sen. Joe Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as she traveled again to the Middle East to try to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“I am not going to comment on the politics of it. I’ll just say that Sen. Biden is obviously a very fine statesman,” she told reporters aboard her plane as she flew to Israel.
“I’ve known him for a long time. He’s been a really very supportive committee chair for — and before that, ranking member for the State Department and for our diplomatic efforts,” she said. “And so he’s a — you know, he’s a true, true patriot.”
The White House was a bit more circumspect. Spokesman Tony Fratto said that it was an honor for anyone to be a presidential or vice presidential nominee but that was really about as far as he went.
“It’s a great honor for anyone who has that opportunity to run in a national election like that, to aspire to represent the country; and so a very personal thing for him and his family,” Fratto told reporters in Crawford, Texas. “Obviously, we’re — we would be happy for him.”
Asked about Rice’s proclamation that Biden was a “great stateman” and “true patriot”, Fratto replied that, “He’s done tremendous work over a long period, and I know he has been supportive of Secretary Rice’s State Department.”
- Photo credit: Reuters/Ho New (Rice arrives in Tel Aviv.)