Former secretary of state Albright promotes Obama in Kansas City

Madeleine Albright is a former secretary of state. She's served under two presidents, both Democrats.

So it's not surprising that she arrived in Kansas City Thursday as an advocate for Barack Obama. It's also not surprising that she arrived thinking Sarah Palin's views as a vice presidential candidate "don't quite meet the standard of what you really need."

But what was at least mildly surprising, at a time when partisan bickering and bombastic statements are the norm in American politics, is that she didn't seem interested in completely writing off the Alaska governor:

"I don't want to put her down. I respect her for doing all the different things that she's done. She's probably smart."

During her stay, the onetime backer of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who began her career as a reporter for the Rolla Daily News in Missouri, talked up Obama at the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus. Afterward, she met with The Kansas City Star. Her answers are edited for length and clarity.

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