The good news for the Republicans at the convention last evening was no third strike. Paul Ryan did what he needed to; knocking President Obama while appealing to party conservatives. Ryan also demonstrated he is a great speaker and will not be brought down the way Sarah Palin was, four years ago. He spoke about the virtues of America and what it means to be an American. He referred to his mother’s struggles and the fact she was his role model. The base loves traditional America values. He didn’t hit the ball out of the park but he did rally and solidify those that support him and the party. It was actually Condoleezza Rice who stole the show. As she was speaking, I kept thinking, there is the Vice Presidential candidate who could have carried the GOP ticket across the finish line. A couple of things separate her from the other candidates. First, she is an intellect. She’s almost too intelligent to be a Republican or Democratic politician for that matter. Second, she appeals to women. Ryan won’t be able to capture the women’s vote the way Rice could have. Perhaps she was asked to be his running mate and turned down Romney. But if she wasn’t approached, I can’t imagine why. She is Presidential, certainly Vice Presidential material. She kept the discussion where it needed to be and was poignant in her discussion. She stayed away from social issues which was in her and the party’s’ best interest. So last night, the Republicans avoided elimination. Tonight it’s up to Mitt Romney to unify the party and America. He must focus on our similarities not our differences. He must spend his time on the economy, healthcare and education. If he can do that, if he can stay on point, he and the Republicans might still have a chance come November.