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Condoleezza Rice: 'I cannot imagine myself running for office'

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Condoleezza Rice talks marriage on "Piers Morgan Tonight"
  • Former secretary of state says she hasn't ruled out marriage one day
  • Rice tells Piers Morgan she likes cooking fried chicken, gumbo
  • She says her ideal man would like to watch football with her all day

Watch "Piers Morgan Tonight" weeknights on CNN/US at 9 p.m. ET and on CNN International at 1200 GMT/1300 CET/2000 HKT.

New York (CNN) -- Condoleezza Rice said she is enjoying life as a college professor outside the political realm, but she says the job is similar to her previous post -- secretary of state under former President George W. Bush.

"It has a lot of things in common," Rice said in an interview airing Wednesday on "Piers Morgan Tonight." "Trying to persuade 19-year-olds -- it's not all that different than trying to persuade some heads of state."

Asked whether she would ever seek an elected position, Rice said, "I cannot imagine myself running for office. Not because politics are so tough, but it's just not me."

She currently is a professor of political science at Stanford University and a professor of political economy in the university's graduate school of business. She's been at Stanford nearly 30 years, she said.

"It's certainly different being out of power," Rice said. "You can read the newspaper and you can say, 'Oh, isn't that interesting?' You can go on to the next page if you like, which I rather enjoy."

Being a public servant, she said, is different than seeking votes. "There's no greater challenge and there is no greater honor than to be in public service. ... Sometimes we tend to impugn the motives of public servants, but I can assure you they're not there for the glory. They're not there for themselves."

"I'm not very young anymore," she said, explaining why she doesn't want to run for office. "What are you, 30?" Morgan asked. "Thank you," she replied. "Thirty-nine?" he asked. "We'll leave it at that," she said. (For the record, she's 56.)

It's certainly different being out of power. You can read the newspaper and you can say, 'Oh, isn't that interesting?' You can go on to the next page if you like, which I rather enjoy.
--Condoleezza Rice

An extremely private person, Rice was loath to discuss many aspects of her personal life, but said she has "come close" to marriage -- she wouldn't say how many times -- and still hasn't ruled it out, although she allowed, "I think I'm well beyond the fairy tale wedding stage."

Her ideal man, she said, would like to watch football with her all day -- "I can watch football for hours on end" -- and would like classical music. An accomplished pianist, Rice said she harbored hopes of becoming a concert pianist one day, but now believes she wasn't good enough to attain that. She still plays piano daily, she said, and recalls her proudest moment as playing with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Asked what kind of men she finds attractive, she told Morgan, "I don't do hypothetical ... I've never met anybody that I wanted to live with. Now, when I do, I'll let you know."

However, she said she's "actually quite easy to get along with" and no slouch in the kitchen.

"I'd cook you fried chicken," she told Morgan. "Southern fried chicken. I would cook chili perhaps. Uh, corn bread. I'm quite good at corn bread. Or perhaps because of my half-Creole grandmother, I'd cook you gumbo."

When Morgan admitted he doesn't know what gumbo is, Rice said, "Go to New Orleans. They'll tell you."

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