If members of the Republican National Committee had their druthers, Mitt Romney would turn to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his vice presidential running mate.
At the annual meeting of state Republican Party chairmen in Arizona last week, more members told me they wanted to see Romney pick Rice than any other candidate -- both for her foreign policy experience and for the message she would send as a member of the ticket.
"There's nobody more sophisticated and smarter," said Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and an early Romney supporter. Added another top Romney backer: "We're in a stiuation where Russia is raising its [profile] more than it has in the past. [Rice] is an absolute expert in Russia, but she also has great Middle East experience."
More importantly, the Romney backer added: "I would really love to see a Condoleezza Rice-Joe Biden debate."