TAMPA – Condoleezza Rice got a huge roar of approval from fellow Republicans when she recounted the story of her life, of a little girl who “grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham _ the most segregated big city in America.”

“Her parents can’t take her to a movie theater or a restaurant,” remembered the former secretary of state, who is black. “But they make her believe that even though she can’t have a hamburger at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, she can be president of the United States and she becomes the secretary of state.”

Just moments later, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez spoke in startlingly similar terms about her own childhood, remembering that: “Growing up, I never imagined a girl from a border town could one day become a governor. But this is America.” And then switching to Spanish she added: “Y, en America todo es posible.”

Republicans are increasingly worried about their ability to attract minority voters and they have highlighted a series of speakers from diverse backgrounds.

Both Rice and Martinez were mentioned at various times as possible vice presidential picks but both insisted they were not interested.
The Associated Press