Republican voters have given a thumbs-up to Condoleezza Rice as their preferred choice as running mate for Mitt Romney as he gears up to challenge Barack Obama.
Dr Rice served as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State for George W Bush, which means she is identified closely with the trauma that became the Iraq War, not a strong selling point, you might think. Yet there she was yesterday atop a CNN poll.
She was selected by 26 per cent of respondents with Rick Santorum, who recently abandoned his bid for the presidential nomination, coming second with 21 per cent. Tied in third place were Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie each with 14 per cent.
For his part, Mr Rubio said in a press interview this week that he would decline the second spot on the ticket even if he were offered it. He has been the subject of constant chatter because his Cuban heritage would offer Mr Romney the chance to recover elusive Hispanic support and by virtue of Florida's standing as a key battleground state.
Dr Rice might offer appeal as a woman and an African-American but until now her name has hardly arisen. More commonly mentioned are House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (8 per cent on the CNN poll) and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (5 per cent).