The two best speeches so far on the Republican convention have been given by women, Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
It was hard not to like about Ann Romney and her speech about the love for the man she has been married to for over 40 years, without revealing anything really new about her husband.
It was Ann Romney’s day, that first convention day. She outshone New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Yes, she outshone her husband, who has never given a speech like that. It remains to see how Mitt Romney succeeds tonight in his big opportunity to explain to the American people why they should vote for him in November.
Condoleezza Rice’s speech was also very good. But it made me sad, that after many times having heard her lecture as professor of foreign policy during my years at Stanford University, my image of her, a prominent academic, has now changed into a Republican standard-bearer, a Republican spokeswoman. Yes, she was national security adviser and secretary of state, but, in my view, she never seemed to be hardline partisan, though she has never hid her Republican sympathies.
But now? To me, she finally made the move from academia to partisan politics, and although she denies it, it is quite possible that she has now also launched a political career with 2016 in view.
When I say that her speech was very good, that does not mean that I didn’t have big problems with her uncritical history of recent foreign policy, of her description of the years during George W. Bush, and of the current foreign policy situation and on U.S. standing in the world. Not a positive word about President Obama, not one.
The excellent foreign policy commentator in Slate Magazine, Fred Kaplan, was deeply upset in a piece today, “Condoleezza Rice Has a Lot of Nerve.”
One can only gasp at the magnitude of “chutzpah” in one woman. Condi Rice, a top adviser in the most disastrous, reputation-crippling foreign policy management in decades, has no business lecturing anybody on this score.
The New York Times’ former editor Bill Keller describes in “Condi’s World” the foreign policy dilemma in the Republican Party and the fact that Rice now, as with George W. Bush before that, “endorsed another would-be president unschooled in world affairs – conspicuously, embarrassingly so – and this one is Already seemingly in thrall to the hard-liners. “
Too bad on such a fine professor.
Here is her speech: