Adding to the chorus of voices looking to preemptively block a potential nomination for current United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of State, 97 House Republicans sent a letter to the White House yesterday expressing their vociferous opposition to such a move.
Though ambassador Rice has been our Representative to the U.N., we believe her misleading statements over the days and weeks following the attack on our embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world. …
Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter. her actions plausibly give U.S. allies (and rivals) abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed. Thus, we believe that making her the face of U.S. foreign policy in your second term would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people. …
In light of this troubling situation and the continued unanswered questions, we strongly oppose any efforts to nominate Ambassador Susan rice for the position of Secretary of State.
I would agree with President Obama that the ultimate responsibility for this debacle lies with him; security concerns in Benghazi aren’t the area of expertise of our ambassador to the United Nations, so it’s pretty evident that somebody sent her out to do the talk shows armed with the non-terrorism talking points that contradicted what intelligence knew to be the case, and which all-too-conveniently suited the “I decimated al Qaeda” narrative that the president was reguarly touting on the campaign trail. But Ambassador Rice didn’t even just say that the administration needed more time, more information before they could definitively say what happened — she was an active participant in deliberately misleading the American people in the midst of a heated election. That’s a pretty serious blow to her credibility to warrant a promotion rather than a demotion.
With all of the very vocal opposition to Susan Rice as head of State though, now I’m wondering — will President Obama even want to put her up for the job anymore? The appointment process would put her through a lot of scrutiny that would inevitably draw even more attention to the Benghazi debacle and the administration’s (mis?)handling of the situation (although, she will likely have to testify at some point now anyway). I’m suspicious that this whole affair was kind of a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of scenario, or that Rice was at least just continuing to put in her time as a “good soldier” in expectation of being rewarded, but is the juice worth the squeeze at this point?
But then again, maybe Republicans are just being their normal sexist/racist selves, because what other possible explanation in the known universe could there be besides this so obviously being just another “witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let’s face it, around this president”? …Facepalm.