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Rice Says She Has No Desire to Seek Presidency

Monday, March 14, 2005; Page A06

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ruled out a run for the presidency yesterday, damping grass-roots efforts to draft her for a 2008 election campaign.

"I don't have any desire to run for president, I don't intend to, I won't do it," she said on ABC's "This Week." "I don't know how many ways to say 'No.' "

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she plans to return to academia.

Rice ranked second among women deemed best suited for the presidency in a nationwide poll conducted Feb. 10 to 17. Among those surveyed, 42 percent said they would support a Rice campaign. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) ranked first with 53 percent, according to the poll of 1,125 registered voters by Hearst Newspapers and the Siena Research Institute in Loudonville, N.Y.

At least four Web sites are devoted to encouraging support for Rice to seek the presidency. Rice, 50, a former political science professor and provost at Stanford University, has never sought elected office.

"I've never wanted to run for anything," she said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"I want to do what I am doing -- I love being secretary of state thus far," she said. "And one of these days very soon I am going to return and be an academic again and get back to the California life and to the world of ideas."

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