Condi for VP!

Her addition to the ticket, which wouldn’t come until late next summer, would dramatically change the dynamics of the 2012 election. As a black woman – her family has roots in the Deep South stretching back to before Civil War era, and worked as sharecroppers after emancipation – she would mute Democrats’ charges of racism among conservatives, especially tea party members. And her sex would likely prompt moderate women to take a serious look at the Republican ticket.

Plus, her selection would be a giant chess move to counter the expected replacement of Vice President Joseph R. Biden with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Sure, the White House denies and denies, but that should really make any political watcher more suspicious. One White House insider even told me that the position swap was the only reason Mrs. Clinton joined the administration in the first place.

Unlike 2008, when Miss Rice repeatedly played down all suggestions that she might like to join the Republican ticket as the vice presidential candidate, she is actively staying mum, while quietly encouraging speculation that she is ready to run.