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Epstein reports: "United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on Thursday withdrew her name from consideration to be appointed Secretary of State by President Barack Obama."

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. (photo: AP)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. (photo: AP)

Susan Rice Withdraws Name From Consideration for Secretary of State

By Reid J. Epstein, Politico

13 December 12


nited Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on Thursday withdrew her name from consideration to be appointed secretary of state by President Barack Obama.

"If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Rice wrote in a letter to the president. "That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country. … Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time."

Rice's chances were damaged after her Sept. 16 appearances on Sunday morning TV shows defending the administration's handling of the attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

"The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized," Rice wrote to Obama. "As someone who grew up in the era of comparative bipartisanship and as a sitting U.S. national security official who has served in two U.S. administrations, I am saddened that we have reached this point."

Hillary Clinton is expected to depart from the State Department in Obama's second term. Rice was seen as a leading contender for the post, along with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Moments after news broke of Rice's withdrawal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told POLITICO that Kerry "would be a popular choice with the Senate."

Rice came under fire from several Republican senators, led by John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

"I respect Ambassador Rice's decision. President Obama has many talented people to choose from to serve as our next Secretary of State," Graham said in a statement, while adding, "When it comes to Benghazi I am determined to find out what happened - before, during, and after the attack. Unfortunately, the White House and other agencies are stonewalling when it comes to providing the relevant information. I find this unacceptable."

An aide to Bill Clinton during his time in the White House, Rice has been an Obama confidant since she defecting from the Clinton orbit to join his primary campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2007.

Obama released a statement saying he is "grateful" for Rice's service as U.N. ambassador and saying he has "regret" for the attacks on her, while praising her record at length.

"I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an adviser and friend," Obama said. "While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country."

Rice's decision was first reported by NBC News. Rice will do an interview with Brian Williams, due to air Thursday night. your social media marketing partner
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