Before leaving for Africa, the first lady predicted the United States soon would have a female president — a Republican, and maybe even Rice.
"I think it will happen for sure," Mrs. Bush said Friday about a woman in the Oval Office.
In the year since becoming secretary of state, Rice has repeatedly dismissed the notion of running for the Republican nomination to succeed her current boss, President Bush.
Asked about the first lady's comments Sunday, Rice laughed and good naturedly answered the recurring question about her prospects for president in 2008. No dice, she said — for the umpteenth time.
"Obviously, it's flattering when people say things like that. The first lady is not only a terrific person, she's my friend. And I was honored that she said that, of course. She's a wonderful person," Rice said.
"But I've spoken to this. I know what I'm good at, I know what I want to do and that's not it."
How about vice president?
"The two are the same," she said with a grin and a shake of her head.
During her flight Sunday, Mrs. Bush was asked whether she'd heard from Rice after her remark.
"I'm probably going to have to take over her correspondence department, when she gets all the letters," Mrs. Bush joked.