Ryan was fine. Condi was great.

Every time her name has been mentioned as a prospect for any elected office, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has demurred. It is apparent that Condi is not seeking anyone’s vote or anyone’s approval. As a result, to my ear at least, when she speaks, her words have an air of authenticity springing from core belief as opposed to political ambition. Secretary Rice had the speaking slot immediately prior to that of VP nominee Paul Ryan, an acknowledgement of the level of respect she commands in the Republican Party.

She spoke on America’s role in the world, the reality of the American ideal and the prospect of overcoming the challenges that we face. No bombast, no forced applause lines. No histrionics. Just a very smart woman speaking from both intellect and heart.

In my opinion, it’s the best speech of the convention so far.

Listen to it in its entirety here.

Excerpt on her rise from Jim Crow Birmingham here.

Excerpt on success here.

Excerpt on failing schools as the civil rights issue of our time here.

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