It’s not even 2012 yet, but the political rumor mill’s churning up some juicy bits already. Washington Times columnist Joseph Curl raised eyebrows this past weekend by reporting/speculating about Condoleezza Rice angling for the GOP’s vice presidential slot. Curl wrote Sunday in the conservative newspaper:

America’s first black female secretary of state is quietly positioning herself to be the top choice of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, ready to deliver bona fide foreign-policy credentials lacking among the candidates. The 56-year-old has recently raised her profile, releasing her memoir in November and embarking on a monthlong book tour.

After 2 1/2 years as a professor at Stanford, Miss Rice is reportedly getting “antsy” to get back into the political game. “She’s ready to go,” said one top source.

Today, David Johnson over at the Grio says it’s not a crazy idea–at least for the GOP’s presidential nominee, who will struggle to appear more moderate and less racist after the fringe festival of the party’s primary. Johnson writes:

Former Secretary Rice brings a number of positives to the table. She is brilliant, talented and scholarly in an anti-intellectual party that often shuns scientific evidence, the facts, and book learning. In 2008, Forbes listed her as number 7 of the 100 most powerful women. Polls have given her high favorability ratings, the highest of any ex-Bush administration official.

She called race a “birth defect” that will always be a factor in American life, and lamented that public education is no longer helping to lift African-Americans out of poverty.

Good stuff for Republicans, at least. 

Johnson sounds credulous about another rumor, too: That Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will swap jobs for the would-be second term. It’s unclear what would motivate either Biden or Clinton to play along with that plan, if it exists. But what’s the point of an election if you can’t play political what-ifs? Like, what if Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul were the leading contenders in the GOP Iowa caucuses? Oh, wait…