Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talking to reporters after an April 17 speech to business students at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

But the “possibles’” moves are being closely watched. So it was quite an eyebrow-raiser at a local Marriott Hotel when Rice showed up April 14 to speak at the Brigham Young University Management Society’s 28th annual gala dinner.

The 6,000 member society, which has chapters in 40 cities — the D.C. chapter is the largest — in the country. Usually the speaker is someone from BYU or a prominent businessman.

This year, Rice did the honors, talking about foreign policy, freedom, American exceptionalism and philanthropy, praising the philanthropic “tradition of your wonderful church,” according to an account by

The event was attended by some 600 or 700 people, our source said, including most “every prominent Mormon in D.C.” Of course Rice does a lot of speaking to various groups each year. And she’s also set up an international consulting firm with former Bush II National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Bush/Obama Defense Secretary Bob Gates.

Still, our source said, “readers of spy novels know there’s no such thing as coincidence.”

Speaking of vice presidential possibilities, don’t forget to enter the Loop “Pick the Veep” contest. Simply guess whom Romney’s choice will be — and the date that choice will be officially announced.

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The top 10 winners will receive a coveted In the Loop T-shirt and the usual bragging rights when we announce winners. (If you need to enter “on background,” that’s fine.)

Don’t delay! Deadline for entries is Monday, April 30. Ties will be broken by date of entry.