Republican diners haven’t yet picked their entree, but they’ve narrowed it down to the steak or the fish. Still, just as interesting as their main course will be their side selection: Will they go for a drab salad, or something more exciting? Maybe a spicy Rice dish?

Yes, that Rice: Condi. She’s rested and ready – and buff.

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.

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