Rice Speech Sparks Talk of a Presidential Run

Thursday, 30 Aug 2012 11:32 AM

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received nearly unanimous praise from pundits for her spellbinding speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.

It wasn’t just from conservatives, either.

“I thought Condoleezza Rice’s speech was spectacular, it was thrilling, it was American,” raved MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, according to Politico. The speech was even better than vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s stem winder, he said.

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, on MSNBC, called Rice’s speech “brilliant,” saying that Republicans might urge her to run for governor of California.

“I thought Condoleezza Rice was presidential tonight,” Matthews said.

Indeed, the speech led some to speculate that she would make a potent presidential candidate in the future.

In her speech, Rice said her parents instilled her with the belief that one day she could be president. Asked about those remarks by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Rice demurred on the idea of a presidential bid.

“I think my father thought I might be president of the United States. I think he would’ve been satisfied with secretary of state. I’m a foreign policy person, and to have a chance to serve my country as the nation’s chief diplomat at a time of peril and consequence, that was enough,” Rice said.

Rice currently is a professor of political economy and of political science at Stanford University and a senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution.

“I’ll go back and be a happy Stanford faculty member. And obviously I’ll do what I can to help this ticket. But my life is in Palo Alto. My future is with my students at Stanford and in public service on issues that I care about like education reform.”

Twitter, too, was full of both praise for Rice’s speech and speculation about her future:

•  “When the GOP nomination is open next, Condi has ensured she is going to get asked about running relentlessly,” wrote The Washington Post’s blog “The Fix.”
•  “Did Condi just declare she’s running for Pres? Also, this is by far the best speech given so far,” wrote Christopher Hayes of MSNBC.
•  “Weird to say of a former Sec of State, but so far Condi’s the one being made by this convention,” wrote BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith.
•  “Now I know I was right about Christie’s speech last night not being up to snuff,” wrote conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

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