Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice keeps insisting she's not a politician and not interested in elected office. Indeed, her tone at the Republican National Convention was markedly different than that of the other speakers.

For example, few of the speakers — mostly elected officials and longtime politicians — begin by greeting the boisterous crowd as "distinguished delegates."

Rice, of course, is America's former top diplomat and a longtime academic, and she's known for a more formal speaking style, as befits her professions.

Yet despite the academic cast to her words, her address was overtly political, as she described for the crowd what she called a nation at risk of falling into decline and told the crowd that America cannot "lead from behind."

And the crowd did not respond formally — instead giving her several rounds of clamorous standing ovations.

— Sally Buzbee