There's growing speculation in high and low places that former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice could be the Vice Presidential running mate for whomever gets the Republican Presidential nomination next year.

The Washington Times reports that America’s first black female Secretary of State is quietly positioning herself to be the choice of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, ready to bring serious foreign-policy credentials and experience that's lacking in the current hopefuls.

Rice recently raised her profile by releasing her memoir in November and going on a long book tour.

One top source says after 2 1/2 years as a professor at Stanford, Rice is getting “antsy” to get back into the political game. “She’s ready to go.”

Politics watchers say adding Rice to the GOP ticket would dramatically change the dynamics of the 2012 election.  As a southern black woman whose ancestors were slaves before the Civil War and sharecroppers after emancipation - she would mute Democrats’ charges of racism among conservatives, especially some tea party members.  In addition, it's thought that her gender would likely encourage  moderate women to take a serious look at the Republican ticket.

In 2008, Rice repeatedly played down suggestions that she might join the Republican ticket as the vice presidential candidate. Today she's not commenting on that subject, while quietly encouraging speculation that she is ready to run.

via CURL: One president, please, with a side of Rice - Washington Times.

Condoleeza Rice has never married, though she was engaged briefly to a pro football player in the 1970s.  In addition to being a Presbyterian minister, her late father was a football and basketball coach who died in 2000 at the age of 77.  That may explain Rice's love for sports.

She's an avid and knowledgeable football fan who once said being the NFL Commissioner was her dream job.  Some high level football people encouraged her to apply for that job in 2006, when former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped down.

Rice is also an accomplished musician. A classically trained pianist, she has performed concerts as a soloist, and duets with famous classical musicians, including Yo Yo Ma, among others.