After a command performance by Ann Romney the previous night, another woman stole much of the thunder last night at the Republican National Convention. Condoleezza Rice wooed the GOP crowd with a straight-forward view of American strength and opportunity—one that aimed in part to defend Mitt Romney's wealth and hinted at a "big tent" of diversity among the GOP. Rice talked of American international security, but emphasized that "our leadership abroad and our well-being at home are inextricably linked," adding, in a dig at spending by the Obama administration: "The world knows that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny."
She called the nation the "most successful political and economic experiment in human history" and one that believes in the "creed of opportunity," adding: "We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other's success." She spoke, movingly, of her own history, from her days as a child when she couldn't eat at an segregated cafeteria or go to a theater in her hometown of "Jim Crow Birmingham," but grew up to become secretary of state. "The essence of America is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion—it is an idea—and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things," she said. "It doesn't matter where you came from, but where you are going."