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Condoleezza Rice.JPGFormer U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is teaching at Stanford University these days, and this afternoon she was just getting back from the Fiesta Bowl, which Stanford lost Monday on two missed field goals by a redshirt freshman, one at the end of regulation and one in overtime.

"I felt so bad for the kid, I really did," Rice said in a telephone interview. "But all in all, it was a wonderful ... this has been a great team."

This afternoon, Rice will turn her attention from football to the Iowa caucuses. She is occasionally mentioned as a potential Republican vice presidential pick, but she said she has no interest.

"I'm a policy person, not a politician," Rice said, "and they really are two different breeds."

Rice is a member of the Think Long Committee for California, which has proposed a ballot initiative to raise tax revenue by extending the state sales tax to services and to effect other tax changes, including reducing personal income tax rates and reducing the corporate tax rate.

The proposal is one of a number of tax proposals that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to clear from the November ballot, believing his own tax plan will have a better chance of success if it is the only option. Former Gov. Gray Davis, who is also a member of the Think Long Committee, said last week that the group is considering a range of options, including delaying the measure or modifying it to accommodate Brown.

Rice declined to opine upon Brown's tax plan. But she had plenty to say about California elections.

"I think the California ballot is confusing enough," she said. "Every time I vote in California, and the whole referendum process, I really have my reservations about it. Because I tell you, I think I'm an informed voter, and I sometimes have to read the measures six or seven times, and then sometimes I still don't understand them. So, I worry about the complexity of the California ballot, yes."

PHOTO CREDIT: In this Jan. 16, 2009, file photo, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice smiles during her last briefing at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/ Lauren Victoria Burke, File)


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