US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice, the highest-ranking black member of the Bush administration, congratulated Barack Obama Wednesday on his history-making achievement in securing the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama on Tuesday gathered enough delegates to seize the nomination, becoming the first black candidate ever to lead his party toward the White House. He bested Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, capping a primary fight that was originally expected to end months ago. Speaking at the State Department, Rice said: "The United States of America is an extraordinary country. It is a country that has overcome many, many, now years, decades, actually a couple of centuries of trying to make good on its principles. And I think what we are seeing is an extraordinary expression of the fact that 'We the people' is beginning to mean all of us." Rice also congratulated Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain and Clinton on their campaigns. "I look forward to viewing it all on the sidelines as a voter," said Rice, who has been mentioned as a possible running mate for McCain. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino also extended President George W. Bush's congratulations. Bush did not call Obama, and Perino noted that former President Bill Clinton didn't call Bush when he won his party's nomination in 2000.