- Cullman, Alabama


September 2, 2012

Timeless words from the non-candidate

CULLMAN — The Republican National Convention featured some interesting moments, including actor Clint Eastwood’s discussion with an empty chair.

When the curtain fell on the Grand Old Party’s nomination of Mitt Romney as its presidential hopeful, the American public was treated to a political party that came across as more diverse, and determined to turn the election talk back to the need for job growth and investments in the United States.

Romney, in his acceptance speech, at one point became Reagan-like in his commitment to longtime allies such as Israel and scolding Russia’s Vladimir Putin. He also tossed up some tough talk about China and fair trade agreements.

In all, the Republican speakers set the stage for a dramatic showdown with President Obama and the Democratic Party.

But politics aside, the most compelling moment of the convention came from the speech of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Spending little time talking about Romney or Obama, Rice gave one of the most intelligent and convincing arguments for the existence and future direction of the United States in recent memory. While generally avoiding the political spotlight since her service in the administration of former President George W. Bush, Rice — without intent — posed herself as the most capable political leader of the future.

Deeply admired by conservatives, though she departs with some of the hard rhetoric of the party on immigration and other issues, Rice would make an interesting candidate for consideration for many independents as well as some Democrats.

In speaking, Rice recognized the tremendous trials that have confronted the nation since the terrorist attacks of September 2001. She noted the need for a strong military in maintaining a balance of power and hope for freedom in the world. She recognized with passion the difficult economic time families have faced. And finally she outlined the great ability of Americans to overcome hardships and injustices at home and radiate, as a nation, to the world’s people as an example of hope and justice.

In closing, Rice noted, “Yes, America has a way of making the impossible seemed inevitable in retrospect, but we know it was never inevitable. It took leadership. And it took courage.”

Those are great words to remember, and to practice, for any president of any political party.

Sometimes the most meaningful perspective comes from those removed from the heat of a campaign. Rice gave that perspective for anyone who ponders the purpose of this nation.


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