From Secretary of State to the NFL? 'Not now'

Updated: March 21, 2006, 1:03 AM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Condoleezza Rice, a bona fide football fan, is not applying for the newly opened post of NFL commissioner -- not now, anyhow, her spokesman said carefully on Monday.

Condoleezza Rice
Rice

"She thinks football is the greatest sport on earth, but even if she were approached for the job -- which she has not been -- she would have to decline," Sean McCormack said.

"She still has many things she wants to accomplish as secretary of state," he said.

Rice, who is avid particularly in support of the Cleveland Browns, is enjoying being secretary of state "at the moment," McCormack said.

The wiggle-room in his response after NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced he would retire resonated off frequent only half-joking statements by Rice that as a lifelong football fan she aspires to run the league one day.

She may also aspire to be president or vice president, at least there has been speculation that she might wind up on the Republican ticket in 2008.

The owner of the New England Patriots, Bob Kraft, for one, seems to be in Rice's corner for the football post.

Kraft told CNBC that he had dinner with Rice a few months ago and found her to be "tremendously capable and highly competent.''

"I am flattered that she is interested in joining us," Kraft said. "But, of course, I am only one of 32."

Rice, meanwhile, said through her spokesman that she thought Tagliabue has been a "terrific commissioner" for the NFL. At the commissioner's invitation, Rice sat in his box Feb. 5 at the Super Bowl in Detroit's Ford Field.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press