Scarborough: If the GOP wants to go after Susan Rice, why not go after her over her temperament?

posted at 8:31 pm on November 28, 2012 by Allahpundit

There are lots and lots of ways to go after Susan Rice, actually, but this would be the most fun politically just because of the hyperventilating it would induce in the left’s Lords of Tolerance. All Republican criticism of Rice is necessarily sexist and racist, therefore a more personal criticism of her “temperament” must be really sexist and racist even though the left has spent years mainstreaming “temperament” attacks on Republicans. None other than Joe Biden used a “temperament” attack to try to torpedo John Bolton’s nomination as UN ambassador, and Harry Reid took the lead in 2008 in suggesting that McCain was some sort of loose cannon who might push the button in a fit of rage as president. Other Democrats at the time insinuated obliquely that McCain’s age might impair his judgment — including one Democrat whose name you might know:

Poll after poll shows that more voters trust Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on matters of national security than they do Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois. Hoping to bridge that chasm, the Obama campaign and Democrats harped on comments McCain made on the Today show this morning, repeatedly calling the 71-year-old presumptive GOP presidential nominee “confused,” seeming to feed into concerns voters might have about the Arizonan’s age…

[Susan] Rice said McCain’s comments reveal a “real confusion and lack of understanding of the situation in Iraq” and the larger region. Jumping on gaffes McCain made in the past, Rice said McCain’s “repeatedly…confused Sunni and Shi’a,” and said he’s been “confused about who the leader in Iran with maximum power is.”

So evergreen is the “temperament” attack that Obama threw it at Romney after his initial statement on the Benghazi attacks, even though Romney had already long since been caricatured by then for being too robotically even-keeled and self-disciplined. So a temperament attack on Rice would be nothing novel — and if you believe certain none-too-conservative reporters, it would in fact be warranted. Remember this bit from Dana Milbank a few weeks ago?

Even in a town that rewards sharp elbows and brusque personalities, Rice has managed to make an impressive array of enemies — on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad. Particularly in comparison with the other person often mentioned for the job, Sen. John Kerry, she can be a most undiplomatic diplomat, and there likely aren’t enough Republican or Democratic votes in the Senate to confirm her.

Back when she was an assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration, she appalled colleagues by flipping her middle finger at Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff at the State Department, according to witnesses. Colleagues talk of shouting matches and insults.

Maureen Dowd, who’s written not one but two surprisingly critical columns about Rice, said this in her first:

Some have wondered if Rice, who has a bull-in-a-china-shop reputation, is diplomatic enough for the top diplomatic job…

Writing in a 2002 book about President Clinton’s failure to intervene in the genocide in Rwanda, Samantha Power, now a National Security Council official, suggested that Rice was swayed by domestic politics when, as a rising star at the N.S.C. who would soon become Clinton’s director for African affairs, she mused about the ’94 midterms, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November election?”

I’m skeptical of all “temperament” attacks on politicians, Rice included; they’re too vague and easy, and they often seem to boil down to “X occasionally gets angry and says bad words.” But I’m intrigued that even people like Dowd and Milbank feel coolly enough about her to complicate the left’s narrative by running “unhelpful” columns, and if there’s any area of policy where temperament really should be vetted, it’s diplomacy. Is she abrasive with other diplomats at the UN, to the point that it’s actually impairing America’s ability to forge compromises? I doubt it, but if it was a fair question to raise with Bolton (and McCain and Romney and eventually Rubio and Jindal and Christie), then it’s fair for her. When Scarborough says he hears from people in Washington that they’re talking about this, I think he’s telling the truth.

The defense, of course, will be that Republicans only attack the minority appointees in O’s administration, which will come as news to Tim Geithner and Elena Kagan and Anita Dunn and Robert Gibbs and Jay Carney among many others. But just to be on the safe side, so that there’s no confusion, the next time Eric Holder and his deputies at the DOJ want to run guns to drug cartels, we should probably give them a pass. Meanwhile, in the spirit of equal time, read this unfortunately persuasive Politico take on why McCain’s going after Rice relentlessly while remaining oddly quiet about her boss, Hillary Clinton. Rice is being treated unfairly here by Maverick, but it’s not because of racism. It’s because of cronyism. He wants to attack the White House’s handling of Benghazi but, for reasons of friendship, he can’t bring himself to focus on the person who was ultimately responsible for Chris Stevens’s disgracefully poor security. Enter Susan Rice.

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Now we are listening to Joe Rino! Is this where we have sank. A guy whose claim to fame is the token rino on MSNBC.

You care’s what this guy thinks.

How about we hear what Demint, Mike lee, ted Cruz, Sarah Palin etc. have to say.

Joe Rino, really!!

Danielvito on November 28, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Because her temperament is the “new normal” and what has come to be expected by every Obama sycophant?

ShainS on November 28, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Can someone tell me why foreign diplomats, and people, would listen to Susan Rice any more seriously than Americans listened to Baghdad Bob?

Clearly, they are both liers that will say whatever they think is politically expediant.

Freddy on November 28, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I’ll settle for Rice being a lying-ass mofo who advanced a narrative that got a person arrested for making a video. Who needs a First Amendment anyway, right? //

Sekhmet on November 28, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Or you could go after her for running interference to let al qaeda slip away after killing 4 Americans.

Buddahpundit on November 28, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Because she’s not the stache,, John Bolten?

Arrogant smart honesty is ok. Arrogant lying stupidity isn’t.

wolly4321 on November 28, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Meanwhile, in the spirit of equal time, read this unfortunately persuasive Politico take on why McCain’s going after Rice relentlessly while remaining oddly quiet about her boss, Hillary Clinton. Rice is being treated unfairly here by Maverick, but it’s not because of racism. It’s because of cronyism. He wants to attack the White House’s handling of Benghazi but, for reasons of friendship, he can’t bring himself to focus on the person who was ultimately responsible for Chris Stevens’s disgracefully poor security.

That’s been one of the most frustrating aspects of all this. Rice is receiving all the attention while Hillary skates, even though the latter is the one actually leading State. Cronyism aside, it makes no sense to give Clinton a pass, especially when she’s a likely candidate in ’16. Obama put Rice up as the scapegoat, and the GOP has erred in dutifully following his lead.

changer1701 on November 28, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Scarborough: If the GOP wants to go after Susan Rice, why not go after her over her temperament?

Even Stupid Joe knows her Benghazi statements are enough to disqualify her….so let’s change the subject.

GarandFan on November 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Zero will nominate her. The Senate will confirm her. The media will laud her. The sheeple will buy it. She is being groomed to be preezy.

Rational Thought on November 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Zero will nominate her. The Senate will confirm her. The media will laud her. The sheeple will buy it. She is being groomed to be preezy.

Rational Thought on November 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

THIS.

Myron Falwell on November 28, 2012 at 9:07 PM

On the video, Mika Brzenzinski says that Susan Rice “attacked” and “embarrassed” John McCain 4 years ago. Maybe I missed it because–heck, who ever heard of Ms. Rice before Benghazi?!

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on November 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Hillary Clinton was not only “ultimately responsible” for Chris Stevens’ security, in some sort of “buck stops here” organizational-chart sense; she was directly responsible. He was an Ambassador who sent memos and cables to the State Department. Which, without question, HRC saw. Personally. However, it was at her personal direction that the “footprint” in the region was reduced. Or, for another term, “normalized.” Meaning we treat embassies and consulates in Libya just like those in France, I suppose. For appearance sake. To fit the Administration narrative.

So, she was directly responsible, not in a chain-of-command sense, but in a hands on (sorry, but bloody hands on, in this case) sense.

And, is there any suggestion that the White House sent Ms. Rice out as the official spokesperson on this debacle without Hillary being in on the discussion and the decision. They sent Rice out instead of Hillary Clinton, the actual SOS. On purpose.

All of which only makes McCain’s avoidance of the topic of Hillary that much more egregious (a problem shared by the others – he is not the only one who can’t bring himself to utter her name).

I am certain that Susan Rice was sent out, on her mission of distraction and dissembling, with the full knowledge and consent of Hillary herself. I thought the thing about McCain was that he put his nation before anything else. Apparently not.

IndieDogg on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 PM

When Scarborough says he hears from people in Washington that they’re talking about this, I think he’s telling the truth.

I know her next door neighbors. I hear the same, and worse, from them.

She’s not a nice lady.

kakypat on November 28, 2012 at 9:13 PM

They sent Rice out instead of Hillary Clinton, the actual SOS. On purpose.

IndieDogg on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Yep…and I agree with your entire post.

kakypat on November 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM

On the video, Mika Brzenzinski says that Susan Rice “attacked” and “embarrassed” John McCain 4 years ago. Maybe I missed it because–heck, who ever heard of Ms. Rice before Benghazi?!

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on November 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM

She was Obama’s FP spokesperson in 2008 and she did attack McCain who took it personally. They scrapped over Georgia and some other issues. McCain is going to do everything to stop her.

lexhamfox on November 28, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Joe’s finger to the wind says it’s now OK to cast a critical eye Susan’s way after his kneejerk castigating of old white guy GOPers. Color me not impressed.

Cindy Cooper on November 28, 2012 at 9:21 PM

She was Obama’s FP spokesperson in 2008 and she did attack McCain who took it personally. They scrapped over Georgia and some other issues. McCain is going to do everything to stop her.

lexhamfox on November 28, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Wow. Interesting. Thanks!

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on November 28, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Zero will nominate her. The Senate will confirm her. The media will laud her. The sheeple will buy it. She is being groomed to be preezy.

Rational Thought on November 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

THIS.

Myron Falwell on November 28, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Indeed

Noelie on November 28, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I thought the thing about McCain was that he put his nation before anything else. Apparently not.

IndieDogg on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 PM

He does put his nation before anything else, but his nation is Mexico where people are not too lazy to pick lettuce even for $50 and hour.

VorDaj on November 28, 2012 at 9:54 PM

We have one messed up political class. Our choice is between Susan Rice and John F. Kerry who still has the stink of loser of him. Oh, and Susan is a nutcase.

Punchenko on November 28, 2012 at 10:22 PM

He does put his nation before anything else, but his nation is Mexico where people are not too lazy to pick lettuce even for $50 and hour.

VorDaj on November 28, 2012 at 9:54 PM

$50 an hour for field hands? Somebody’s sold you a load of Grade-A agribusiness propaganda.

MelonCollie on November 28, 2012 at 10:23 PM

“Temperament” concerns aren’t allowed when a Democrat appointment is up for consideration. See: Sotomayor being badgered by that notorious chauvinist Lindsey Graham. Also see GOP judicial nominee Miguel Estrada being attacked a few years earlier on his “temperament”.

Bill R on November 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Palinize her.

Bork her.

Make her name a verb.

Bruno Strozek on November 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Tempermant? Why not make it more simple,….. she’s a liar.

Tater Salad on November 28, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Long game? If I didn’t think the GOP incapable of such things, I’d swear they’re being smart. If Rice is the nominee, she’d have to appear before the Senate for confirmation. Again, I think it’s probably wishful thinking, but Rice’s scalp has become very important to Obama, and her nomination has become intertwined with his severly oversized ego. It can be used for leverage, or Rice can can be properly vetted, which would include testimony about Benghazi. And her Rwanda comments and personality would also be open to legitimate discussion. Obama understands the Chicago game. And he’s opened him up to it. He doesn’t believe the other team has the stomach to play it, and he’s probably correct. But I can dream!

Knowing what we know, is Obama willing to, as he is so fond of saying, have the discussion? Not if it’s honest. There is no way Rice could come out of a full hearing of her record and still be able to perform as an effective Secretary of State.

So the President, if he insists on having a pissing match over Ambassador Susam Rice, leaves himself open to political blackmail. I hope McCain and his amigos somehow find the cajones to play the hand they’ve been dealt. And it’s a good one.

Kenz on November 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Susan Rice owns stock in company that wants to build Keystone pipeline.

So use it.

Something to the effect of:

“Rice lied about the attacks in Libya to keep the region in a state of destabilization. She wants to make out like a bandit when Obama finally signs off on Keystone.”

Pound it, over and over, until it sticks.

The GOP has to stop being so squeamish about playing smash mouth. Gosh, afraid you’re going to lose an election?

Bruno Strozek on November 29, 2012 at 12:03 AM

If Joe and Mika says its OK, then it must be so…

Khun Joe on November 29, 2012 at 12:32 AM

I think McCain does not attack Hillary for her obvious incompetence because he considers her a friend. Ironically, she would dispose of him in a second for a dollar off a sandwich.

pat on November 29, 2012 at 1:13 AM

She’s a B I T C H …Joe!

KOOLAID2 on November 29, 2012 at 1:52 AM

Susan Rice is The Distraction that Obama has set up so that the media does not focus on asking him:

When did you first learn of the embassy attack?
What orders did you issue to rescue the embassy staff?
Why weren’t the embassy staff rescued when you had 7 hours to get the job done?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

He wants all of you to get in a tizzy over Susan Rice. Come on people, focus!

Old Fritz on November 29, 2012 at 2:19 AM

Lyin, shmylin, does rice possess anything creaseworthy that david brooks would swoon after?

AltTuning on November 29, 2012 at 3:02 AM

Hillary should have been fired for criminal negligence.

Rice should be handing in her resignation for abysmal incompetence.

Obama should …

I’ll let his gnat-sized conscience answer that.

profitsbeard on November 29, 2012 at 3:44 AM

When Scarborough says he hears from people in Washington that they’re talking about this, I think he’s telling the truth.

I know her next door neighbors. I hear the same, and worse, from them.

She’s not a nice lady.

kakypat on November 28, 2012 at 9:13 PM

DITTO.

She most definitely is NOT a nice person, about that, I agree and have said before.

She’s not only not-nice but she’s what I’d call downright unnecessarily and irrationally mean. Her use of negative and nearly cruel force with others is not an indication of intelligence nor of “power” as some try to claim (especially where a Black woman is concerned, or even an attorney or similar professional who is female of any race). She seems to me to be not only NOT a nice-person but an irrational one with real anti-social personality problems.

Lourdes on November 29, 2012 at 3:44 AM

I don’t think declining to call genocide by its name, while said genocide is going on, simply because it might hurt you in an election indicates a bad temperament, per se, but it occurred to me that it probably fits most definitions of evil, and in any case isn’t very nice.

RINO in Name Only on November 29, 2012 at 4:58 AM

Do they not have access to or know what shampoo is at the State Dept?

Sporty1946 on November 29, 2012 at 7:50 AM

read this unfortunately persuasive Politico take on why McCain’s going after Rice relentlessly while remaining oddly quiet about her boss, Hillary Clinton. Rice is being treated unfairly here by Maverick, but it’s not because of racism. It’s because of cronyism. He wants to attack the White House’s handling of Benghazi but, for reasons of friendship, he can’t bring himself to focus on the person who was ultimately responsible for Chris Stevens’s disgracefully poor security.

So let me get this straight, Politico is condemning RinoCain because he’s not condemning the right person for the embassy deaths, Hilllary Clinton, and the rest of the time Politico throws itself over the Clintons to protect them from so much as a cough (insert latin translation for “low haning fruit” here).
Its hilarious but it doesn’t matter. The sheeple have spoken, and Politico is the voice of their god, yes its too early in the morning to drink, no I don’t remember the original question, and why are we caring what Morning Joseph Gobbells proclaims?

onomo on November 29, 2012 at 8:37 AM

So “Angry Black Woman” is preferable to “Angry Black Man”?

She made a lot of enemies? Oh, so mentioning how much a persona non grata an female of color is in the world of Washington is supposed to be an valid play?

Con Senator Chump following Armchair QB (and part-time own-team sniper) Joe’s advice: “Look how unpopular Susan Rice has made herself in Washington!”

Media Spin Machine: “Look how racist you are to blame the victim for the racism that reacts negatively to an assertive black female!”

Now, you not only have the “Any strong woman’s a B.” division against you, but an elite platoon of: it’s twice as nettling from an “uppity black B.” To top that, you’re confirming the sum judgment of all those people who can be characterized in shades of this.

If “You shilled on Benghazi” was “proof enough” of racism and sexism, what is to be made of “Many don’t like the way she comes on.”

Dowd and Milbank don’t have to worry that the whole of the MSM will be mobilized to prove how they can’t give a black woman an even break. They’ll just receive the occasional condemnations that maybe they’ve stepped over the line. They failed to consider the role of racism, here. And as dutiful soldiers of the MSM, after Chump has waded in, might actually offer Mea Culpa editorials saying that they are usually conscientious about considering the role of bigotry, but forgot themselves, here.

Or they could do like a number of people do, back up their statements as honest, but decry the “opportunism” by the people whose politics they don’t like.

You can’t quarterback in this current media world without realizing that some of the people coming through the line are wearing zebra stripes. And after you’ve been tried in the media and found racist, Joe will take a pot shot from behind as he laments with his MSNBC crew that yeah, it was racist and sexist to run that play.

Leave the useful idiot to those he is useful to.

Axeman on November 29, 2012 at 8:52 AM

the Navy was pulled back and Carter Ham was relieved of duty, the CIA blamed the FBI and the FBI blamed the CIA. Meanwhile the State Dept. has ducked every question.

One person is in charge of all of this mess and he is not even being discussed. Somebody’s going to break this thing open. It’s getting ripe.

DanMan on November 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM

The is McCain’s show –
you really think he wants ‘temperament’ discussed?

verbaluce on November 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Both Rices’ (Condoleeza and Susan) are totally unqualified to run the State Department-but at least Condoleeza has class.

MaiDee on November 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM