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Condoleezza Rice plans new book – is it a prelude to a presidential run?

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(Read caption) Condoleezza Rice speaks at the Republican National Convention.

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Exactly ten years to the day after American troops invaded Iraq, President Bush’s former national security adviser and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has delivered another major announcement.

The former Iraq war proponent announced Tuesday that she is writing a book. As yet untitled, the book, to be published by Henry Holt sometime in 2015, will be “an examination of democracy at home and abroad.”

“My travels both at home and abroad have underscored the promise and the challenges of democracy,” Rice said in a news release issued by Henry Holt. “The task of building it is never done. I look forward to further exploring these ideals and working with Holt to convey those messages.”

The book will include stories from Rice’s life and career and explore the challenges of governance, including “essential questions of contemporary democracy, including the centrality of education, immigration, free enterprise, and civic responsibility,” according to the publisher. “She will also address American’s destiny as a beacon for global freedom."

The announcement of Rice’s new book doesn’t just come ten years after the onset of the Iraq war. As many political hounds have pointed out, it comes four years before the next presidential election. More importantly, it’s set to be released in 2015, a year before the 2016 presidential election.

You know what that means. Rumors are already building that Rice may run in 2016, with her forthcoming book as her ticket back on the national stage. (Those rumors only intensified after a particularly strong speech at the Republican National Convention last summer.) She was repeatedly mentioned as a likely candidate in 2012, only to become a key supporter for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Does this book mean Condi’s running in 2016? Of course, it’s a little too soon to tell, and the former secretary of state has repeatedly said she’s not interested. Nonetheless, it does open the door for speculation. 

Now, of course, this isn’t the first book Rice has penned. The former secretary of state has written three books, all memoirs, including her most recent, the 700-page “No Higher Honor,” about her time as Bush’s foreign policy adviser. In it, Rice defended the Iraq war and outlined tensions in the Bush White House in the lead-up to and following the conflict. 

This latest book project might be an attempt to move the conversation, and the nation’s memory of Rice’s participation in the Bush administration, forward from the unpopular war to democracy-building. And it might just be a pitch for future office.

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Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.


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