Alex Massie Alex Massie

Condi Rice gave a great speech. She still won’t be a contender. – Spectator Blogs

It’s no surprise that John McCain gave a shriveled, bitter, small speech at the Republican convention during which he inadvertently confirmed that the electorate – boobs, nitwits, rubes and all – were quite right to deny him the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. More war, all war, war everywhere was, alas, all McCain had to say. He is a man diminished in every way and it is a sad business to see him so.

More surprising – and pleasingly so – was Condoleezza Rice’s return to form. She gave the best speech of the convention thus far. That this may be a low bar does not mean it’s not one worth clearing. At the risk of granting the rest of these poltroons a comparison they do not merit, Rice gave the first plausibly grown-up speech of the week.

Rice’s speech – the full text of which is here – was deft and interesting in equal measure. As you might expect it contained a number of criticisms of Obama but these were, in the main, implied not made explicit. More importantly it was the only speech I’ve heard or read this week that challenged the Republican party to do better.

Dan Drezner liked it too, albeit with one significant caveat. He thought the first paragraph reminded viewers of the Bush administration’s mistakes. Well, perhaps it did. But is this such a bad thing? Here’s what Rice said:

We gather here at a time of significance and challenge. This young century has been a difficult one. I will never forget the bright September day, standing at my desk in the White House, when my young assistant said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center – and then a second one – and a third, the Pentagon. And then the news of a fourth, driven into the ground by brave citizens that died so that many others would live.

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