From the New York Daily News:

On her plane flying to Jersualem yesterday, Rice called Biden a "statesman" and a "true patriot."

"I am not going to comment on the politics of it," Rice said of Barack Obama's choice of the Democratic senator from Delaware for the Dem veep nomination.

"I will just say that Sen. Biden is obviously a very fine statesman," Rice said. "He's a true patriot."

This comes on the heels of some nice words she's had for Obama. I remember talking to one plugged-in Republican earlier this year, right after Hendrick Hertzberg suggested Rice as a McCain running mate, who told me that was a non-starter, since McCain didn't care for Rice--and vice versa. Part of Rice's diplomacy toward the Democratic ticket is, of course, just that: the diplomacy you'd expect from a Secretary of State. But you do have to wonder if there's also something personal behind it.

--Jason Zengerle