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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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+9 # Activista 2012-12-13 22:43
John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pushed USA to bomb Libya. Benghazi was pay-back of Libya people for all the NATO dead.
+3 # drshafer 2012-12-14 00:42
How sad that someone as highly qualified and deserving of this position has become another victim of racism and the general republican vendetta against anyone associated with President Obama.
0 # Ralph Averill 2012-12-14 04:02
I am disappointed that Rice and the administration caved on this issue. I believe that the Republicans saw Rice as a future strong presidential contender, perhaps with a stop in the Senate along the way, and were determined to nip it in the bud. 'Tis a shame they may have succeeded, although i don't think we've seen the last of Ms. Rice.
The Republicans have no problem with Kerry because he is seen as a spent political force. His appointment will open up a seat in the Senate as well.
+5 # Regina 2012-12-14 11:53
No -- what the Republicans want is his Senate seat, for which they expect to reelect Scott Brown. They're not just conceding graciously to a Kerry appointment. They're constantly conniving for power.
+5 # zornorff 2012-12-14 07:52
Ms Rice is the unfortunate victim of the defeated republicans strutting around like conquerors(even though they havent't figured out that they lost in Nov). It was perfectly alright to make excuses for w's Ms Rice, but it seems that Obama's candidate is held to a different standard. It is amazing to me that we survive as a nation with morons like McCain and Graham in congress.
+2 # RLF 2012-12-14 09:09
I hate to say that the republicans have something right here but the administration seems to be as misguided about where these Arab spring governments are going. It is almost as misguided as Bush saying that Iraq would be cheering as we invaded and be an instant American style democracy. Good to hope, bad to assume. Just more conventional wisdom from Obama and appointees.
+3 # Bill Clements 2012-12-14 09:13
I completely agree with Dan Rather who was on Maddow last night: Obama "talked tough" at his news conference regarding his support for Rice, but in the end, didn't back it up. As Rather said, "Talk is cheap, it's what you do that counts." When asked by Maddow what he should have done, he emphatically replied that he should have taken it to a vote. "She's my nominee; lets take it to a vote." Yes, I totally agree!

So, there's a growing perception among Republicans that even when Obama feels strongly about something/someo ne he's not likely to put up a fight for it or them! The GOP perception is that "he can be rolled for his wallet and his watch."

Needless to say, not a good way to start his second term. Some might have forgiven Obama in his first term for "playing it soft," but he knows full well who he's dealing with now and he won a second term, for God's sake.

I like Rather's basketball analogy: we expect Obama in his second term to "take it hard to the hoop," but this incident with Rice shows that he's seemingly content to just "dribble and pass around the perimeter."

And as others have pointed out, Republicans will be happy to confirm Kerry because it opens up a seat in Mass. for Brown (God forbid!) to run again or some other GOP idiot to run.
+4 # bdeja 2012-12-14 09:44
The selection of John Kerry would infuriatingly open the door for Scott Brown to possibly return to Senate. This would not be a good development. Brown has a lot of support in MA.
+1 # Regina 2012-12-14 11:56
I thought MA voters had more sense, and that Brown won last time because his opponent took a party-line victory for granted and didn't bother campaigning.
+3 # bdeja 2012-12-14 09:46
Susan Rice was not a good choice due to her financial involvements with Keystone Pipeline related money. Also she would be a bad choice for Sec. of State because she is a war hawk.
+2 # Small Family Farmer 2012-12-14 12:55
Thank you for bringing that up. Here's a woman worth millions of dollars with over a 1/3 of it invested in technologies that will accelerate the rate at which the planet's climate changes.

Investing in those companies speaks louder than words as to her values and world view. This is the person Obama wanted in one of the most influential positions in our government. Now there's talk of her becoming the director of the NSA.

What a freakin' mess we, the people, are in.
0 # reiverpacific 2012-12-14 10:52
At least she was decent or realistic enough to admit her shortcomings, real and potential, and anticipate the flood of nastiness awaiting her in the confirmation hearings from the right, unlike her similarly named arrogant, incompetent and hubristic forebear in the first Bush Cabal of criminal-conspirators.
I don't think that racism had anything to do with it.
I have to agree that her financial holdings were a definite liability in more than one context and would no doubt have compromised her decisions and actions.
Can't say I liked her at all after her very threatening statement and doom-laden tone post Palestine upgrade support of most of the rest of the world either.
+6 # ajax 2012-12-14 11:43
Funny, nobody tried to oust Condolisa Rice when she embraced the lie about Iraq having nuclear weapons!
+3 # dbriz 2012-12-14 14:15
Now why do you suppose that happened?

Possibly because the Dems enabled Bush/Cheney all the way?

Possibly because they have enabled Obama all the way?

Don't fret over Susan Rice.

Just another empire building warhawk who will easily be replaced by another in a long line of interventionist s in waiting.

Waiting for MIC/CIA blessings emanating from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
+7 # Billsy 2012-12-14 14:50
Rice's withdrawal is not such a great loss when one considers her investments in the Keystone pipe-line over which she would have jurisdiction as secretary of state. There remain sufficient qualified candidates to further what will continue to be American realpolitik policy abroad and at home. And forget Kerry; he's needed in the Senate. Republicans encourage his selection solely because they think they can capture his seat in MA.
0 # CAMUS1111 2012-12-14 16:30
Obama spineless syndrome strikes again!
0 # cordleycoit 2012-12-14 20:30
Glad to see that eco raper gone from the pack. She was part of XL Pipeline as involved as Hillery Clinton. Heads you lose tails you lose.
-3 # Activista 2012-12-15 16:13
How convenient -
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting, and will no longer testify Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the deadly attack on the U.S. ...
Would lie to hear from Hillary (Rice boss) why NATO liberated people of Libya are not grateful for US made civil war in Libya.
0 # Activista 2012-12-15 21:42
Obama and Samantha Power misread the Arab Spring from the start. Be thankful that Susan Rice isn't going to be at State to further damage America.

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