Condi Rice Speaks Again. And Again

Condoleezza Rice spoke to the RNC Wednesday night to near universal acclaim. I agree that it was a smoothly delivered speech, no doubt because it's the same speech she always gives and practice makes perfect.

Compare her speech to the GOP convention in 2000 to the one she gave in 2012; all very similar. In 2000, George Bush knows we must be strong and engage the world. In 2012 Mitt Romney does too. Free trade is good and important for international relations. In the latest iteration she also remarks on school choice. She ends both talks with a recollection of segregation days in Alabama.

No thought of any specific policy ideas are ever advanced. We are warned about China in both speeches, but not told what, if anything, we are supposed to do. From the 2012 speech you would never know George Bush had ever been President or Rice his National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.

Perhaps in a more extended format Rice might be more substantive? Don't count on it; her 2011 autobiography runs an amazing 784 pages yet you learn next to nothing of her personal life beyond adolescence, or her foreign policy philosophy. There's no analysis or reflection on the many historic events of the Bush years or her role in them.  She barely even tells her readers where she was all that time, but merely regurgitates the international headlines of the day.

I don't know if Rice seriously competed to be Romney's VP. If she did and was outshone by Paul Ryan's obvious depth and brilliance, it reflects well on Romney's good judgment.  Post-Reagan Era Republicans in any event, have had enough of Beltway careerists, who will say anything to win the next big job, or in Condi's case, the same thing, over and over.

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.