Condoleezza Rice Visits Houston; Says Smart Stuff.

Oh, Condoleezza, we believe you.
Photo taken by Jason McElweenie

When you put the words “fun” and “luncheon” together, you most likely don’t envision those things paired with “listening to the yammerings of a former Secretary of State.”  But according to Condoleezza Rice, “I have never been a former anything,” and I’d have to agree that she was pretty much nothing short of current awesomesauce.

This afternoon, a few of us lucky Schipulites had both the privilege and the opportunity to see the accomplished and unabashedly brilliant Condoleezza Rice speak, thanks to the wheeling and dealing of the World Affairs Council of Houston.  It really doesn’t matter if you’d vote for the woman if she ever ran for public office – a question posited to her, to which she answered, “I don’t really have the passion for it,” more or less.  Politics aside, Condy (yeah, we’re friendly like that) is an expletive-ing phenomenal human being.  Let’s be honest – are you fluent in French?  Have you played piano with Yo-Yo Ma or with the Denver Symphony or for the Queen of England?  Do you have a Ph.D. in Political Science?  Were you born in Birmingham, AL?  Okay, yeah, that’s so what I thought.

Anyway, Condy brought down the roof of a house filled with about 1,500 people at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston, and man, was she on fiiiiii-yiiiiiiire!  Given her stoic, yawn-inducing appearances throughout the Bush administration’s tenure, first as National Security Advisor and then as Secretary of State, you wouldn’t believe what a sense of humor this seasoned scholar has up her sleeve.  But lo and behold, we were chuckling all the way to…um, all the way to the parking garage.

For as much as she was entertaining, Condy was also highly inspirational.  Since we Schipulites love to share, I shall delay no further in spreading the Condy brain candy to your gray matter.

Top 10 Condy-isms From Her Visit to Houston
(As Fast As We Could Feasibly Write Them Down,
Meaning They’re Probably Not Exact,
But More Likely a Really Good Gist)

  1. “I spent eight years in Washington.  Washington is a lot of things, but creative, innovative, and risk-taking aren’t among them.”
  2. “Thomas Jefferson may have had better press than he deserved as a founding father.”
  3. “Modern threats come from failed states instead of global players.”
  4. “Russia went from chaos to authoritarianism, and swung right through organized chaos – which is democracy.”
  5. “It doesn’t matter your race, religion…what’s important is finding people who fit in this extraordinary experiment called America.”
  6. “I would rather be naive than cynical.”
  7. “What was once seen as impossible is now seen as inevitable.”
  8. “It’s too tempting to plan every phase of your life.”
  9. “If America does not stand for the rights of everyone, no one will.”
  10. “Myth doesn’t mean it’s not true.  It is just something outside our realm of thinking.”

10 Replies to “Condoleezza Rice Visits Houston; Says Smart Stuff.”

  1. I really liked her explanation of myth and particularly the American Myth – or the so called American Dream. We can do and be what we want to be if we put our minds to it. I think a lot of people forget that.

  2. I studied French for 7 years but can't claim fluency, I've played violin accompanied by My-My Ma on the ivories, and I was born in Libby, Montana so … no, not quite in Condy's league! LOL, I loved your recap, Fayza. Glad you got to be on that scene (even if you weren't wearing a pantsuit).

  3. @sheenatabraham

    Her point was that in societies there are certain myths and the American Myth/Dream is really attainable if you try. She explained her humble beginnings in Birmingham where she wasn't able to use a public restroom until she was 10. She also remarked how all the public pools were closed one summer rather than address segregation. Faced with this type of adversity it is easy to enslave your own mind to what people tell you, instead believe in the myth and become what you want to become. She was from this very polarizing place but through determination she has achieved great success. As she said it 'It doesn't matter where you come from, it matters where you are going'

    This isn't a new concept at all but I think a lot of people forget this and enslave their own minds with the negativity and adversity that is thrown on them

  4. There are wonderful explanations that accompany her quotes – I was cursory in my roundup in order to make sure I included as many high points as possible. What an awesomesauce explanation of one of them, Jason!

  5. Wow , how wonderful to just run into this on FB – really inspiring and a lot to think about while just getting things done today Thanks for putting this out there !

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  7. yea i would like to no some of the stuff she has done in her child hood life time because i would like to no wat she has done wit her life

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