Susan Rice Withdraws Name for Secretary of State Consideration

Susan Rice will not be the next Secretary of State. She has tendered a letter to Obama asking that her name be withdrawn from consideration.

Her withdrawal leaves Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as the leading candidate for the job. A senior administration official said “something strange would have to happen” for Kerry not to be the choice.

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    Score another win for cranky old men and (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:59:27 PM EST
    their pals. Oh and also for craven senators from New England who live in fear of a Tea Party challenger in their next primary. I would love to see Obama go after McCain and Graham and their acolytes Ayotte and Collins. I would love for the president to verbally castigate them for their unwarranted attacks on Susan Rice's character. I would love to see Obama stand up to these miserable people. I would also love to win the Powerball lottery. I think I have better odds with the lottery.

    John Kerry? Really? So. . . what. . . Our new diplomatic strategy will be to bore other nations into compliance with our wishes? It is possible that being forced to listen to Kerry's monotonous drone could be considered a hostile act.

    Are you saying (none / 0) (#3)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:57:06 PM EST
    that Obama has become a cranky old man?  

    Or that he's one of their pals?

    Actually, you could get your wish, were Obama one of the cranky old men.  But their pals don't make a peep.


    And, if you look in today's Boston Globe (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by scribe on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:40:27 PM EST
    you'll see a big puff piece on how Scott Brown has already broken out the barn coat and the pickup truck to take the run at Kerry's seat.

    Way to piddle away your party's Senate majority, Obama.

    Given that Obama hasn't said anything ... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:47:46 PM EST
    scribe: "Way to piddle away your party's Senate majority, Obama."

    ... regarding his potential nominee for the State Dept. once Mrs. Clinton decides to step down, your presumption about said nomination, your castigation of the president for on the basis of of your presumption, and your subsequent assumption that Scott Brown would win a special election to fill Sen. Kerry's seat were he to actually be the nominee for State, are at once premature and as yet unwarranted.

    Unless you're a certified tarot card reader and licensed soothsayer, please don't criticize people prospectively for events that have yet to occur.


    Remember this comment (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by sj on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:29:47 AM EST
    if/when Kerry is tapped.  The rest of us will.  

    And maybe I'll be pulling out my tarot cards again.  I didn't know I could get a certification for that.  Is that a Hawaiian thing?

    But once I'm certified I expect you to treat my precognitions with serious consideration.  Since you say that's more valid than extrapolating future behavior based on past events.


    "Recognitions." Good one. (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:31:00 AM EST
    Is that a companion to "before he was a twinkle in his father's eye."

    I think Ms. Rice is suffering the delayed consequences of calling Hillary Clinton " a monster"!!!!


    I believe the monster comment... was Samantha (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Cashmere on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:45:28 AM EST
    Powers, not Rice.

    A snide slam against Hawaii? (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:44:04 AM EST
    I have avoided responding to you, but this was just too much.

    You look for offense (none / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:41:47 PM EST
    when there is none.  Not against Hawaii, in any case.  One of the pearls of the planet.

    And by all means, continue to avoid responding to me.  


    CNN reporting John Kerry to be nominated... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Cashmere on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:24:52 PM EST
    for SOS.    SJ, you were correct!  And, I remembered Donald's remark.

    That truly sux. (none / 0) (#76)
    by shoephone on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:40:24 PM EST
    Kerry is the last person I want to see elevated to that position.

    Yeah, OK (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:22:04 PM EST
    "on the basis of of your presumption"

    You mean on the basis of just about every political commentator/analysis, and people in Obama's Administration.

    I think it's too early to chastise someone for something that hasn't happened, but to pretend the assumption was based on one assumption is pretty weak tea.

    At least now we know why the right has been in a tizzy over the Rice comments.  He should nominate a republican Senator in a toss-up state and grab one of their seats.  Or give it to McCain to shut the right up for a minute.  


    Of late, I have to admit to having (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:16:16 PM EST
    increasing doubts about Susan Rice at State.

    David Dayen says it better than I can - with the particular parts that were bothering me in bold:

    But the reality is that Rice made more enemies than friends in her attempt to mend fences on Capitol Hill. And her family investments in the oil and gas industry, her long record of war advocacy and too-close-for-comfort relationship to global dictators left her without champions in her own party to beat back the various attacks. In the end, the President must not have seen this as a hill to die on.

    But we never got to the point where we could discuss real concerns, as opposed to whatever it was that Benghazi was that sucked all the oxygen out of the room.  

    The Massachusetts Senate seat should be a concern, but doesn't seem to be one for Obama - which is a shame.  

    I think the whole thing is depressing as hell, from the possibility of losing a Dem seat in the Senate, to giving the right the idea that they made enough noise to close the door on Rice, to me just not being at all sure we have a truly coherent policy with respect to the whole sorry mess that is the middle east.

    If (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:30:15 PM EST
    the part you highlighted is all true,

    ... her family investments in the oil and gas industry, her long record of war advocacy and too-close-for-comfort relationship to global dictators

    why was she even consideration?

    And Kerry leaving the Senate makes me uncomfortable because I think a Democratic seat in the Senate is more important than whatever it is that a Secretary of State does.


    Why was she even in consideration?? (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Jack203 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:21:06 PM EST
    her family investments in the oil and gas industry - So what?  If you can name one middle class (or above) extended family who doesnt have some investments (401k) in oil and gas, it would completely floor me.  I am previously a moderate conservative, who has flipped to a moderate liberal.  I am beginning to view the oil and gas industry extremely negatively, regardless, I am quite sure I and many in my extended family are also invested someway.

    her long record of war advocacy -- ?  Is Susan Rice a closet neocon?  Somehow I doubt it. There are very few liberal politicians that have a perfect pacifist or isolationist foreign policy.  Regardless, the majority of Democrats are much much better than the Republicans in foreign policy.

    too close for comfort relationship to global dictators- Give me a break.  

    It's a shame Susan Rice is backing down. I do think something happened behind the scenes, but not sure the above three reasons are it.

    Losing one senate seat does stink   We had/have a real shot at a super majority in 2014.


    First, (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:28:48 AM EST
      there is a significant difference between a middle class family that owns a modest 401 (k) or other fund which is partially invested in energy stocks and a multi-millionaire who owns a large number of shares in a paricular  company. Especially a company  which stands to directly benefit in a huge way if our government green lights a project which decision is one her prosprective position would be intimately involved in deciding.

      Second, I am quite sure there are people, including qualified people, who have no conflict of interest related to that issue.

      Now, obviously, standing alone, that would not be disqualifying. She could divest the holdings creating the conflict of interest or she  could "recuse" from that particular matter. I believe the issue was raised to provide one of the reasons why this Administration would decide fighting to put her in the position is not worth the fight.

      The question might be framed in terms of whether Obama should dig in his heels for someone facing  strong opposition across the aisle and tepid support on his side. Sometimes the answer to such a question might be yes, but is there  anything about this particular person and this particular position at this particular time to warrant such a fight? (Not saying there is not. I'm just asking what the reasons for choosing this fight might be.)



    Actually (none / 0) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:36:29 PM EST
    the particular 2014 Senate races that are up for election likely favor the Republicans. But I don't really see the Massachusetts seat as being lost. Especially if Deval Patrick decides to nominate himself, or name a placeholder such as Barney Frank, until the special election, and then Patrick runs. I don't think Scott Brown would even tangle with Patrick.

    I had not thought (none / 0) (#28)
    by Amiss on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:45:36 PM EST
    About those scenarios, but they certainly seem more palatable than Kerry being nominated.

    Kerry's (none / 0) (#37)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:22:27 AM EST
    nomination is not palatable to me at all - even with a dose of ketchup. I just don't like him. I don't like the way he ran his 2004 campaign - the way he bought the nomination and the way he danced with Bush rather than confronting him on his lies and duplicity - and managed to lose the election and give us another four horrendous years of evil.

    A totally irrational addendum: I don't mind that Rice has withdrawn herself from consideration. One Secretary Rice was enough. How about some other grain for a little variety? Totally irrational, as I say - but I have been seriously traumatized by the W. administration. I apologize.


    Traumatized - good word for it... (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:11:09 AM EST
    As for investments in the hydrocarbon industry, it's impossible for us to live without them, but at least Susan Rice didn't have an oil tanker named for her, like Chevron did for Condileeza Rice.

    Lentinel (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jack203 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:36:23 AM EST
    Wow, good thing Obama won then Lentinel.  I am a very moderate Dem, and I would have been devestated if Romney won, because the Republicans are just horrible right now.  Their positions are horrible and they are funded by horrible people.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#53)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:51:31 AM EST
    they are.

    Unfortunately, many of those same funders send their dough to the Dems as well - and their influence on domestic and foreign policy is
    still felt.

    I am glad that Romney lost, but I'm not all that happy that we have Obama to contend with for another four.


    I thought (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jack203 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:33:48 AM EST
    We had more Republicans up for grabs than Dems in 2014 senate....Just figured with how the Republicans continue to disgrace themselves and further themselves from women, minorities, and independents...a super majority was possible.

    A lot can happen in two years though.  Another possibility is that the Republicans moderate themselves back to plausibility or that things get bad in the economy and the Republicans successfully blame Obama.


    Well, I'm happy (1.20 / 5) (#7)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:17:55 PM EST
    It's nice to know she was corrupt as well as incompetent.
    Besides, she was probably an Obama administration sacrifice.

    Zero: "It's nice to know [Susam Rice] was corrupt as well as incompetent."

    ... is the inert mass of grey matter between your ears. And speaking for myself only, I'm through putting up with wingbats who casually engage in drive-by smears and slanders of Democratic public officials, without offering a single shred of irrefutable and documented evidence to support what happens to be a very serious charge.

    And if you don't like the call-out and pushback, too bad. You're posting on a liberal and Democratic-friendly blog, not serving as a guest host on Fox & Friends or The O'Reilly Factor.


    Oh Donald meboy (none / 0) (#29)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:53:34 PM EST
    I didn't know you loved me so! Tell me how you truly feel!
    Anyway, I was merely talking about the information given in this thread by another commenter, no need to get all butthurt, shooting the messanger and all that.

    My advice to you: clean up your party, apparatchuk.


    That's good advice (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by sj on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:29:59 AM EST
    clean up your party, apparatchuk [sic].  
    I think you should follow it.

    Libya conspiracy theory nonsense n/t (none / 0) (#8)
    by Rupe on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:41:46 PM EST
    Rice saved herself grief (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by koshembos on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:31:56 PM EST
    Rice saved herself a ton of grief. With all due respect to Dayen, she represents current Democratic opinions well. It wasn't her waring, oil or even Lybia, it was the GOP crazies. Obama, as usual didn't get too involved. Rice decision is probably best for her.

    Kerry will be a disaster; he always is.

    good move by Susan Rice (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:00:48 PM EST
    last week the Columbia Journalism Review characterized White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as having delivered "misinformed" & "insulting" remarks at a recent press briefing, & of having "trivialized an important story about conflict of interest in government":

    . . . . White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed GOP operatives for revealing that Susan Rice, President Obama's presumed favorite to become the next Secretary of State, has significant investments in the Canadian oil industry.

    "I would commend Republican opposition researchers for the intellectual bandwidth that is required to read a financial disclosure form," he said, when asked about Rice's investments at a media briefing on Thursday. "So, what this represents, I think, in vivid fashion, is what I've been talking about for a while now, which is that none of this has anything to do with the tragedy that occurred in Benghazi. This is about politics and that's a shame."

    Actually, what the revelation represented was bang-up investigative journalism. The GOP had nothing to do with it, and if anything is a shame, it's the fact that not only was Carney misinformed, but he stiffed the press--his former colleagues--on credit for a solid scoop.

    of course, it's ridiculous to expect Carney or any other White House press secretary to congratulate the press on a potentially damaging scoop

    nevertheless, Carney's sneering, absurd deflection of a legitimate question about a possible conflict of interest, as much as his flat refusal to answer, was of a piece with the general smugness & misdirection that have marked the Obama administration's attitude toward those who have committed the lèse-majesté of inquiring into "whatever it was that Benghazi was," as Anne (understandably throwing up her hands?) referred to the September 11 incident

    you don't have to be Susan Collins (or a cranky old man like McCain, or a Tea Party crackpot like Kelly Ayotte) to be "troubled" by such a kingly attitude

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:25:09 PM EST
    And speaking as a Democrat, I would certainly like to know how the tragic events in Benghazi transpired. We lost an ambassador and three others, and I'm certainly not alone in wanting to learn why we were caught with our pants down.

    That said, I'd just really appreciate it if there were actually people posing some hard but thoughtful questions to the Obama administration in a respectful and courteous manner -- rather than all these reckless charges, wild insinuations and irresponsible accusations currently being flung against the White House walls by Republicans, whose only apparent interest in this entire matter is to how they can stick it to the president politically.



    the reality is (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:41:42 PM EST
    that an opposition party can have both its political agenda & legitimate questions that deserve answers - a mature administration should be able to handle that reality

    The opposition party (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:45:17 PM EST
    is neither mature nor based in reality.

    that may well be (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:58:50 PM EST
    but a certain immaturity has marked the Obama administration's response to concerns about the events in Benghazi, from the president's taking personal "offense" at being questioned to the press secretary's sneering deflection of a legitimate query

    i think the tenor of this response has the potential to damage the administration while strengthening the political agenda of the GOP

    in my view, it has already cost Obama his first choice as Secretary of State


    Here's how I think they transpired (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:14:21 PM EST
    When war starts...any awful phucking thing could and probably will happen. War is violent absurd insanity. Murder as daily routine.

    Once you let it start, you can never be surprised at how terrible and unpredictable it gets. Not in this day and age. Not with all the lessons history has given us.



    Agreed. Only on TV can 'Merican superhero (none / 0) (#50)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:17:00 AM EST
    Rambo Delta Force uber-armed, but sensitive, killers swoop in on five minutes notice and save everybody.  The entire event transpired in what, seven or eight hours?  Utter B/S that anybody could do or even decide to do anything in that amount of time.  

    Donald, I think you're missing (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:49:40 AM EST
    Addams Family's point, which isn't about Benghazi, but about another aspect of Rice's resume that is deserving of scrutiny.

    From the Columbia Journalism Review that Addams Family cited:

    The day before Carney's briefing, OnEarth magazine, a publication of the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, broke the story that Rice "holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline."

    That's a problem because, should she become Secretary of State, one of Rice's first responsibilities would be to decide whether or not to grant a permit to construct the 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport Canadian tar sands to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. Conflict of interest? You betcha.

    Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, owns stock valued at between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, according to OnEarth's Scott Dodd:

    Beyond that, according to financial disclosure reports, about a third of Rice's personal net worth [somewhere between $23.5 million and $43.5 million in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics] is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel -- including companies with poor environmental and safety records on both U.S. and Canadian soil.

    It's hard to understand how Carney mistook OnEarth for the GOP and investigative journalism for politics.

    While I agree there are still questions about Benghazi, and those questions need better answers than those we've gotten to date, in my opinion, those were never the only questions.  If the administration was so high on Susan Rice, they shouldn't need to point fingers at the GOP to deflect from legitimate questions about her, should they?


    Kerry. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:00:19 AM EST
    "...something strange would have to happen" for Kerry not to be the choice."

    Kerry is himself something strange waiting to happen.

    I have seen quite enough of him.

    Howard Dean acquired, not entirely without reason, a reputation of being a little flakey, but I sincerely believe that if he had been the nominee in 2004,(if(imo) Kerry had not bought the nomination), Dean would have decimated Bush - would have shown him up for the mean idiot he is - would have won and we would be way ahead of where we now are.

    Dean barely finished 3rd (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:40:42 AM EST
    winning only one state (his home state) and a total of 5.5% of the primary vote edging out Wesley Clark for 3rd (Clark also only won his home state). Dean received a similar percentage of the total primary vote as did Lyndon LaRouche in 1996.

    Howard Dean was an over-hyped candidate that was only in the running in Internet chat rooms.


    For (none / 0) (#62)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:55:00 AM EST
    the moment, I will not dispute what you said.

    But I hold to my belief that Dean would have destroyed Bush in the debates, would have gone on to win, and we would be immeasurably better off than we are now.

    I also hold to my recollection that he was leading Kerry up until Kerry said that he was "lending" his campaign a few millions.


    That tracks with what I remember (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by sj on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:52:02 PM EST
    Also, contemporaneous with the media promotion of the "scream" non-issue.  Which happened right after he said he would work to break up the media conglomerates that were taking over.

    A change is as good as a rest... (none / 0) (#13)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:22:32 PM EST

    Let Hilary and Biden swap jobs and keep Kerry's Senate seat locked up until at least the next regular election.

    Besides, she's probably got a better shot at winning in the fall of 2016 than does Joe.

    And besides... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:25:27 PM EST
    ...if you nominate Kerry, you reward the rabid right for attacking Rice for having been misinformed by our intel folks while they forget all about how they gave Powell a pass for the same thing, only moreso.

    You're over playing it (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:40:44 PM EST
    Someone else will be nominated for SOS and Rice will either stay at State or possibly become National Security Advisor.

    The reward for the right... (none / 0) (#32)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:38:30 PM EST
    ...to which I referred was the opening up of Kerry's Senate seat, not derailing Rice's career path.

    They don't care about her one way or the other and probably didn't even know who she was, they just hated the idea of anyone suggesting that maybe it's not a good idea to make videos for the sole purpose of p1551ng off Muslims.


    That would be good, provided ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:39:22 PM EST
    ... that she wanted to be vice president.

    Another thought might be to nominate the soon-to-be-former Sen. Richard Lugar as Sec. of State, who was ousted in this year's Indiana GOP Senate primary by frothing wingbats and crosseyed teabots.

    Lugar has actually compiled a pretty decent record on foreign policy over the past three-plus decades, could be counted on to support the Obama administration's overseas initiatives, and his nomination would be a sharp poke in the eye of a GOP that's listing ever farther to starboard.

    Lugar's only downside is his age (80), but he's in good shape physically, had the knowledge base necessary to run the State Dept., and would probably relish the chance to end his political career on a high note.



    With Hagel (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:44:05 PM EST
    lined up for Secretary of Defense, it's doubtful another Republican would be chosen.

    Even Sarah Palin... (none / 0) (#33)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:40:05 PM EST
    ...was prepared to tolerate having to be the veep for a while on her way to the oval office.

    Not to be ageist... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Cashmere on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:07:36 AM EST
    but Hillary Clinten in 4 yours visited about 112 countries, and traveled over a million miles (these are "guestimates" from her interview with Barbara Walters).

    If I were 80, I do not think I would relish such a schedule.  Not stating that Lugar could not do it.

    However, I do not see a REP getting this nod.


    That is my favorite idea too (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:01:21 AM EST
    The Sunday After Benghazi (none / 0) (#20)
    by RickyJim on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:41:49 PM EST
    Has anybody figured out why Susan RIce was the one to go on 5 Sunday talk shows to "explain" to the public what happened in Benghazi?  Who asked her to do that and why?

    From Susan Rice herself (3.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Rupe on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:29:43 PM EST
    In her WaPo opinion piece:

    "On Sept. 16, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was unavailable after a grueling week, the White House asked me to appear on five Sunday talk shows to discuss a range of foreign policy issues: the protests against our diplomatic facilities around the world; the attack in Benghazi, Libya; and Iran's nuclear program.

    "When discussing Benghazi, I relied on fully cleared, unclassified points provided by the intelligence community, which encapsulated their best current assessment. These unclassified points were consistent with the classified assessments I received as a senior policymaker. It would have been irresponsible for me to substitute any personal judgment for our government's and wrong to reveal classified material. I made clear in each interview that the information I was providing was preliminary and that ongoing investigations would give us definitive answers."


    Who in the White House Asked Her? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by RickyJim on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:00:51 AM EST
    The White House has a national security adviser. Why didn't that person didn't go on the shows?  Susan Rice had nothing to do with Benghazi.  Has she always been the designated substitute when Clinton is "unavailable after a grueling week"?  I don't think the whole story is out there.

    yes (none / 0) (#30)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:58:27 PM EST
    & i believe her

    unfortunately, Rice (& her potential nomination) got caught up in a number of other questions that, at least as of two weeks ago, have not been answered in a clear & consistent manner

    between some people shrieking Treason! & others sniffing Nothing to see here, move along, the only "answers" are coming from extreme partisans


    Concur (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:14:02 AM EST
    If she was really the next hopeful for SOS, it makes sense that they would have her fill in for Clinton on something like this where she was basically transmitting the WH approved version of the state of knowledge at the time.  I don't see anything nefarious about her being the mouthpiece.

    There are of course legitimate questions about what really happened in Benghazi. But as long as Graham-McCain are the ones asking them and the CIA is the one answering, there will be little light shed.


    The real question is (none / 0) (#69)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:03:11 PM EST
    why did Hillary Clinton decline, or was "unavailable for," the the talk shows?  Actually, I don't blame her for not wanting to be on the talk shows, nor do I think that those are appropriate venues for a Secretary of State.  
    But I would not have sent our UN ambassador on those talk shows, either.  A brief press conference would have been more appropriate, perhaps- from the Secretary of State, though, or a State Department spokesperson, not the UN ambassador.
    The Benghazi attack was really not the pervue of the Ambassador to the United Nations.  I thought that it was strange at the time that they used Rice for this.  

    you seem to be posing 3 questions (none / 0) (#24)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:11:06 PM EST
    question 1: why was it Susan Rice (as opposed to . . . ?) who went on the Sunday talk shows?

    question 2 [implied by scare quotes around the word explain]: was Rice actually explaining what happened, or was she doing something else, & if so, what was it that Rice was actually doing?

    question 3 [begged by assumption that someone asked her to go on the talk shows]: did someone ask Rice to go on the shows (& what was that person's motive), or did she volunteer to do it?

    i think that unpacks your original question

    now, if you had one or more answers, what else would you know?


    how about... (none / 0) (#27)
    by markw on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:30:45 PM EST
    Bill Clinton for Secretary of State?

    You only suggested that... (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:20:46 PM EST
    ...because of the potential for jokes about foreign "affairs", right?

    : - )


    I have been neutral on her actual merits (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:07:39 AM EST
    as SOC. I suspect many more feel the same, and that makes it easier all the way around. No Dem in the Senate was going to go to war over this. But I do hate to see Sen Crankypants Graham win...no matter he will just move on to whining about something else.

    My money is not on Scott Brown at the moment, No real reason, just a feeling.

    ha. SOS. Unless she is also up for Commerce. (none / 0) (#43)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:14:57 AM EST
    Shame (none / 0) (#51)
    by vicndabx on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:18:09 AM EST
    I think she may have been good on Africa policy, considering her prior experience.  Since South Africa somewhat got its act together, very little is heard about that region of the world, other than lamenting the last round of genocidal killings. It would have been good to see a black woman in a high profile position like SoS.

    Don't (5.00 / 5) (#55)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:05:42 AM EST
    you think that your comment,

    It would have been good to see a black woman in a high profile position like SoS.

    is a little racist?

    We have already had that experience, and it was dreadful.

    It all depends on the individual, not the package.


    Um no, it's not (none / 0) (#61)
    by vicndabx on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:51:51 AM EST
    a little racist

    A black woman in a high profile position of power is a good thing.

    That she may deal w/issues surrounding Africa isn't racist either.

    While I may not have agreed w/some of the policies Condolezza pushed as a member of the Bush team, the role model she served as was good one.  Politics has nothing to do with it.


    Oh (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:57:13 AM EST

    This freak was out buying shoes on Fifth Avenue while black people were drowning in New Orleans.

    Some fking role model.


    oh come now (none / 0) (#66)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:48:17 PM EST
    This freak was out buying shoes on Fifth Avenue while black people were drowning in New Orleans.

    it's fair to criticize Condoleezzaa Rice for her work as secretary of state & national security adviser, but this meme is silly & always was, no matter how many progressive blogs picked it up & let themselves become dittoheads of a corrupt media that had finally decided to turn on George W. Bush

    first, the secretary of state is not in charge of emergency management, & there was already more than enough blame to go around among local officials in NoLa, starting with Ray Nagin

    second, for anyone who wants to play this game, the same thing could be said of Michelle Obama, living it up in Spain & Aspen as black Americans drown in unemployment & poverty

    the difference is that no one here will push the second meme, because it's so petty & silly


    It's (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:30:15 PM EST
    not petty and silly.

    It is meaningful.


    Rice's experience with respect to Africa (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:25:03 AM EST
    is actually among the things that are concerning.

    In a New York Times Op-Ed yesterday, Eritrean-American journalist Salem Solomon condemned Rice's fondness for tyrants in Africa, while Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford argued - with ample documentation - that her supporters "care not a whit for Africa, whose rape and depopulation has been the focus of Rice's incredibly destructive career." A New York Times news article from Monday separately suggests that Rice's close ties to the ruling regime in Rwanda - that government "was her client when she worked at Intellibridge, a strategic analysis firm in Washington" - has led Washington to tacitly endorse its support for brutal rebels in the Congo.

    Now, I can't make you go read the links embedded in Glenn's post, but your comment was so stunningly superficial and lacking in substance that I'd like to suggest that you actually dig into this area of Susan Rice's resume before you conclude that she "might be good on Africa policy."

    And, seriously, "other than lamenting the last round of genocidal killings" is right up there with "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" only in this case, we're talking about the slaughter of millions and millions of people.


    It's more than a a bit over the top (none / 0) (#58)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:49:25 AM EST
    to allege  "rape and depopulation has been the focus of Rice's incredibly destructive career."

      There are many who feel  the US generally at that time  neglected to take strong action to  reduce sectarian violence and genocide and that she personally  was and is willing to overlook brutality from our putative alies, but saying SHE made rape and "depopulation" her focus is unfair as hell.


    You might be interested in also reading (none / 0) (#64)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:00:24 PM EST
    What Susan Rice Has Meant for U.S. Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

    You may find it less florid and over-the-top than the other material, but nonetheless enlightening as to Rice's history and experience with Africa.

    I was going to try to post some excerpts, but it doesn't lend itself well to "sound bites."

    Maybe this:

    When I first encountered Rice in Mali, during a visit there by then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1996, she was a well-connected and high-achieving senior NSC staffer in her early thirties. She was possessed of a quick step and a look of complete self-confidence.

    Most unusually for someone her age, she already had a career-defining crisis behind her, one in which she has played an important role: the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

    According to Samantha Power, Rice's advice to the Clinton White House in the critical early phases of the killing there was to avoid any public recognition that actual genocide was being committed, because to do so would legally require the United States to take action, and this (echoes of Benghazi?) might affect upcoming congressional elections.

    Former senior State Department officials who knew Rice in her next job, as assistant secretary for African affairs, give her great credit for not giving up on Africa. Stephen Morrison, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a policy planning official at the State Department during this period, told me that Rice's predecessor, George Moose, had been told by higher-ups to "keep Africa off the screen, because it doesn't matter."

    "Well, she took a different approach, and said it does matter, and we're not doing enough in Africa," Morrison said. "And she got the president to make two trips to the continent, and deserves some credit for that."

    An enormous part of why it mattered, however, was bound up in America's failure to stop the genocide in Rwanda. And it is Rice's takeaway from that tragedy, and from her role in it -- arguably more visceral, personal and emotional than rational -- that shaped her approach to the continent ever since.

    Entire article well worth a read.


    First off (none / 0) (#60)
    by vicndabx on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:47:18 AM EST
    I never go to Black Agenda's website because, well, to put it mildly, the guy running it is way out of the mainstream.  Further, the website sets my PC's security software screaming. YMMV

    Secondly, from the NYT article:

    When Mrs. Clinton appeared before reporters on Nov. 28 to talk about the M23's seizure of Goma, she sprinkled her talking points with a demand that the rebel group withdraw, calling the humanitarian impact "devastating," with 285,000 people forced to flee their homes, health workers abducted and killed, and civil workers under threat of death. But she made no mention of Rwanda's role backing the rebel group, limiting her inclusion of Rwanda to a mention of negotiations with Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo to try to get a cease-fire.

    Some of these "critics" must work in a closet alone in the dark to expect that members of a team will go off reservation beause someone thinks they should.  These questions about her supposed loyalties because of past associations are, IMO, not supported by any facts and a lot of insinuation and guilt by association.

    The fact remains, that if you work in an area where there are competing interests, there will always be critics.  The experience gained however is often invaluable and useful.


    Nakoula (none / 0) (#52)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:28:02 AM EST

    Nakoula is still in the slammer.


    Aaaaaaannnnnnddddd ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 04:45:09 PM EST

    Scott Brown (none / 0) (#65)
    by CST on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:20:05 PM EST
    May be the next senator from ma, but I wouldn't crown him just yet.  I can think of a few high profile Dems who may be interested and could win.   Capuano will almost certainly run.  Maybe even Vicky Kennedy.   I doubt Barney Frank will, he seems to be legitimately retired.  If Deval wants it he would be an immediate front runner - although in not sure he does.   In any event, the same dynamics that Scott Brown lost on will exist this time around.   And he won't catch the Dems sleeping on it.   Sure it was a presidential election year and I'm sure that influenced it some.   But presidential elections don't matter much around here and the senate race was the highly funded and highly public race of the election season.

    If Kerry gets the nod,and MA needs a new (none / 0) (#67)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:52:44 PM EST
    senator, when would the election be held? Must the election occur within some number of days of a resignation?

    Could Patrick appoint Barney, or someone else, as a caretaker until the special election? And, if Patrick wanted the senate seat, could he run without resigning the governorship?


    it would be (none / 0) (#72)
    by CST on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:02:33 PM EST
    Almost exactly like last time.  Patrick makes a temporary appointment, and I believe he has 160 days to hold a special election (with primaries before that).  The person would then be up for reelection in 2014.   So even if brown (or anyone else) won, they would have to run again in the midterms.  Not sure if Patrick would have to resign to run, I doubt it, but he may anyway to avoid a conflict of interest as the gov. is responsible for setting the dates.  Also, I'm not convinced he wants it, although I do think he'd have the best chance of anyone running if he did.  He may also be looking for some other role in the Obama administration.  I don't know why exactly, but the general presumption is that he has higher ambitions and will not run for reelection as gov.