This evening, Former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice spoke to a full house at the LBJ Auditorium. Though Dr. Rice touched on a number of political issues, the tone of the speech was apolitical. Surprisingly, Rice’s speech was filled with humor and stories.

Some main points that stood out included:

  • The American education crisis is the greatest threat to national security.
  • The United States needs comprehensive immigration reform.
  • When asked whether she would take a different stance on the War in Iraq given hindsight, Dr. Rice adamantly stated she would “overthrow Saddam Hussein again.”
  • Dr. Rice also emphasized the fact that “today’s headlines are not the same as history’s judgments.”

Dr. Rice’s policy perspective is unique because of her leadership roles during different security eras:  the Cold War and post 9-11. Her remarks on life outside of politics were just as insightful as her opinions on policy. Where Dr. Rice may have fallen short was on addressing America’s role in the post-Arab Spring Middle East. Her generic diagnosis on the lack of institutions in the Middle East offered no tangible policy recommendations or options.

What are your reactions or thoughts to Dr. Rice’s speech?