To the surprise of many, Condi Rice gave the best speech of the convention tonight in Tampa, Florida. To be honest, I have trouble watching conventions because I find it cloying listening to people speak in clipped, choppy lines of dialogue and while Rice's speech was certainly scripted, it was also impassioned, serious, unafraid and inspiring.
Rice has been popular with the party through the Bush years but recently has carried with her the "taint" of the Bush Administration. Now we heard a lot about the battles among the foreign policy team of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice, but most of that information came from charlatans like Bob Woodward feeding off the gossip of backstabbers. I don't know for certain how much of a voice she had in the administration but if she meant what she said tonight she qualifies as a Thatcherite, and I don't use that term loosely.
You can also tell by her passion that she really wants to get back in the game. I thought after the Bush years that she had had her fill. No so.
John Podhoretz asked on Twitter, "When did she get this good?" I strongly suspect she always was, but it's easier for her to shine now that she doesn't have Karl Rove buzzing around her hive.