London, Sep 9 : The most prominent women in American politics Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New York Senator Hillary Clinton assisted Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's efforts to counter the polling power of Sarah Palin.
Although President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were showering compliments on Palin, Rice offered only the faintest praise, The Times reported.
She failed three times to defend the Alaskan Governor from charges that she does not have the necessary experience to be vice-president.
"She gave a terrific speech. You know, she's governor of a state here in the United States," Rice said.
Asked directly by CNN if Palin was ready for the White House, she would say only: "These are decisions that Senator John McCain has made. I have great confidence in him."
When pressed again, Dr Rice replied: "There are different kinds of experience in life that help one to deal with matters of foreign policy...I'm not going to get involved in this political campaign. As Secretary of State, I don't do that."
Clinton, who tried in vain to halt Obama's momentum in the Democratic primary, was in Florida yesterday doing her best to help him.
At a rally in Kissimmee, she acknowledged that it "will be a tough election", then added: "I didn't hear the Republicans at their convention address the needs of real Americans...I don't think it could be any clearer what the choice should be."
But, other than adjust her Democratic convention speech line to say, "No way. No how. No McCain. No Palin", she made little direct reference to the Alaskan Governor.