Quotes of the day

posted at 10:01 pm on December 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

On Thursday I asked that President Obama no longer consider me for the job of secretary of state. I made this decision because it is the right step for this country I love. I have never shied away from a fight for a cause I believe in. But, as it became clear that my potential nomination would spark an enduring partisan battle, I concluded that it would be wrong to allow this debate to continue distracting from urgent national priorities — creating jobs, growing our economy, addressing our deficit, reforming our immigration system and protecting our national security…

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. I have tremendous appreciation for our intelligence professionals, who work hard to provide their best assessments based on the information available. Long experience shows that our first accounts of terrorist attacks and other tragedies often evolve over time. The intelligence community did its job in good faith. And so did I.

I have never sought in any way, shape or form to mislead the American people.

***

It was a classic Washington exit: stealthy and swift, with few fingerprints. President Obama didn’t want to be seen as backing down. So Susan Rice — one of his most devoted aides since 2007 — gave him the way out, seemingly all on her own…

The underlying reality is this: The president is almost certainly furious about this turn of events — which represents the first major defeat he’s suffered since his reelection — but he’s a savvy enough politician to know how to back off without seeming to back down.

***

It worked through attrition. After Sen. Susan Collins asked for a meeting with Rice, Democrats expected the ambassador to smooth things over. Collins exited the meeting, found a cluster of microphones, and said that she couldn’t “currently support” Rice, even though — gosh darn it — she really did like her when she was nominated to the U.N. post. That worried Democrats, and made them think that a Rice nomination would be become a distracting, political capital-sucking mess. A White House source asked me to consider a six-week circus in January and February — when there might already be a circus tent being pitched under the debt ceiling.

At a Univision forum during the campaign, President Obama got challenged on his failure to move a “comprehensive” immigration bill during the first year of his first term. He said a lesson of his term had been that “you can’t change Washington from the inside.” What he meant (he’d said it before) was that aggressive public campaigns needed to complement whatever the party in power wanted to do, because without that, it would fade or be pilloried and dismissed.

There was no aggressive public campaign to save Rice.

***

Though the discussion appears to be moot now that Susan Rice has apparently withdrawn her name from consideration to be secretary of state, I agree with Max that the criticism of Rice’s undiplomatic style would seem to be complements when coming from conservatives. But I fear an important point is being lost: this criticism was not coming from the right, by and large. The attacks on Rice’s disposition have been driven by the left. Indeed, what is remarkable about the controversy over Rice is how thoroughly the left took command of it–and greatly expanded the effort to prevent her nomination.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Republicans on the Hill had basically limited their critique of Rice to her misleading statements following the Benghazi attack. Liberals, on the other hand, made it personal. Dana Milbank suggested Rice had an attitude problem. Maureen Dowd said Rice was too ambitious and unprincipled for her own good–or the country’s. Yesterday at the Daily Beast, Lloyd Grove launched a bizarre attack on Rice that accused her of having a personality disorder. The left has also been driving the less personal attacks as well. Howard French said Rice’s Africa legacy is the further empowerment of dictators. Human Rights Watch’s Tom Malinowski knocked Rice for essentially enabling atrocities in Congo.

Meanwhile, it should not go unnoticed that Hillary Clinton made her opposition to Rice clear to officials in Washington, which may explain the avalanche of leaks and criticism and personal sniping that came from the left as soon as the battle commenced.

***

[W]hy did Obama blink? The reason can only be fear. Next week, Hillary Clinton is supposed to testify before Congress about Libya. There are some indications Clinton may now back out, or resort to insisting on a closed session hidden from the public. Whatever the result, President Obama clearly does not want to give Congress any more high-profile chances to ask someone under oath what happened in the hours and days after Stevens was killed. Rice was at ground zero of the real scandal: not in Benghazi, where the attack occurred; but in Washington, where the cover-up was planned and executed.

Furthermore, Obama probably thought that sacrificing Rice, who still keeps her job as UN ambassador, would assuage some congressional critics and distract from a pending report on what happened in Benghazi. Most importantly, it eliminates the troubling possibility of a Rice confirmation hearing. That likely still would have led to a confirmation victory for Obama—but a pyrrhic one given the ability of most Americans to sniff out a liar.

***

This was certainly a political confrontation, and Obama backed down. But that doesn’t mean, necessarily, that he lost or that McCain won—at least not on any issue beyond whether Susan Rice will be nominated as secretary of state, something Obama hadn’t yet done in any event. It doesn’t necessarily tilt the outcome of any conflict to come.

Rice’s withdrawal might even work to Obama’s favor, in the end, if he goes ahead and nominates his presumed second-favorite candidate for the job—Sen. John Kerry. I’ve written (and I’m far from alone in this view) that Kerry was always the better choice. As longtime chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he has a thorough grasp of all the issues on the agenda; he served as Obama’s de facto envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, cleaning up some of that region’s messier political disputes; he navigated Obama’s New START nuclear arms-reduction treaty to ratification by a resistant Senate; and, not least, he is largely responsible for Obama’s political rise, picking him to be keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic convention when he was a mere Illinois state senator. Clearly Kerry wants this job; surely he deserves it.

***

***

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said Thursday that she did not regret her Sunday talk show appearances in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi terrorist attack, while acknowledging that the surrounding controversy forced her to withdraw from consideration for appointment as secretary of State.

“I don’t regret doing it,” Rice said during an interview with NBC News. “When you’re a diplomat and a public official and a tragedy happens and it related to the work we do, it’s our obligation to explain it as best we can to the American people.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

***

Click the image to watch.

***

Via the Daily Caller.


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Obama used Rice as a shield the same way palestinians use schools to launch their rockets. He hopes that no one has the courage to call her out because she is black and a woman. That didn’t work out, and Obama can’t afford to have her go through confirmation hearings under oath, so she dropped out to save his ass.

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 7:52 AM

First off I don’t pretend to like anyone, no matter their persuasion, either they are worth their salt or they ain’t! Second I would say I am pleased and astounded at how stupid you are at wanting to have a woman who went out an lied knowing she was lying, but really that would be giving you just a little too much credit for being that naive.

MarshFox on December 14, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Let me be clear — I am utterly unconcerned with Susan Rice’s qualifications for Secretary of State — although as a Rhodes Scholar, veteran diplomat and Ambassador to the UN she certainly has the resume (I’m not so keen on some of her work in Africa during Clinton, but that’s secondary).

I’m just pleased as punch that, as the GOP tries to rebrand itself as not just the party of bitter, aging white guys, bitter, aging John McCain (and you) conflates a perfectly normal Sunday morning spin session into a crime against the state and takes down a black woman just to show that he can.

See the “16th Street Baptist Church” murders on where your forebears allowed bombs to go off for months and the lives of four girls to be taken so as to pander to the important white segregationist voting bloc.

Pander to important voting bloc.

That is Rule 4 or 6 in the present Democrat book?

IlikedAUH2O on December 14, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I’s sorry, are you referring to the Conservative movement’s actions during the 60s? The political forebears of today’s Republican Party?

Or isn’t four dead Americans important enough?

Of course, the only characters more pathetic are white males and service folks in this country who have four of their own dead with barely a ripple.

And a CIC who flew to Vegas the next day.

IlikedAUH2O on December 14, 2012 at 7:44 AM

I have a good friend whose husband is a foreign service officer. She says that the Republican efforts to make political hay of a tragic death make her want to puke, and I’m kind of with her on that.

Optics, baby, it’s all in the optics.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM

The old “I have a good friend” (who parrots the talking points) con game….

viking01 on December 14, 2012 at 8:21 AM

The old “I have a good friend” (who parrots the talking points) con game….

viking01 on December 14, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Fair enough, but when you live in DC, you hardly have to pretend to have friends in government service. I once had a next-door neighbor who was appointed Ambassador to Iceland by Reagan.

But let me change the statement to simply “Republican efforts to make political hay of a tragic death make me want to puke.”

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM

I have a good friend whose husband is a foreign service officer. She says that the Republican efforts to make political hay of a tragic death make her want to puke, and I’m kind of with her on that.

Optics, baby, it’s all in the optics.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM

I wonder if she would feel the same if Obama sat there watching her husband be murdered and doing nothing to help. In fact, ordering those who tried to save his life to stand down. Situational ethics, baby. Just to prove her liberal cred, I hope she gets the chance to face a situation where her husband’s life depends on the coward, Obama.

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 8:26 AM

You’re a pleasant person.

I don’t think anyone’s arguing that Benghazi wasn’t a screw up — although partisan hindsight is always 20-20. I think the objection is that the Republicans have clearly, from the moment of the attack, been far more interested in scoring points against Obama than actually finding out what happens. The fatwah against Susan Rice is merely one facet of a shameful episode on the Republican’s part.

Fortunately, one that will continue to haunt them every two years for the foreseeable future.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:33 AM

You’re a pleasant person.

I don’t think anyone’s arguing that Benghazi wasn’t a screw up — although partisan hindsight is always 20-20. I think the objection is that the Republicans have clearly, from the moment of the attack, been far more interested in scoring points against Obama than actually finding out what happens. The fatwah against Susan Rice is merely one facet of a shameful episode on the Republican’s part.

Fortunately, one that will continue to haunt them every two years for the foreseeable future.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:33 AM

I hate hypocrites so I hope your friend gets the chance to live up to her principles, and I hope it’s soon. I don’t know how you have the nerve to talk about Republicans trying to score political points when the whole freaking thing happened so Obama could hide from the public what he has been up to in the middle east. CIA prison? Gun running to Syria? You are such a hypocrite. You would be screaming like a stuck pig if Bush had done what Obama has done.

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I hate hypocrites so I hope your friend gets the chance to live up to her principles, and I hope it’s soon.

No, you’re just a hater. The bitter face of a dying part. My friends principles in this case being that reducing tragedy to political opportunism is reprehensible, I’m not sure where your objection is.

I don’t know how you have the nerve to talk about Republicans trying to score political points when the whole freaking thing happened so Obama could hide from the public what he has been up to in the middle east. CIA prison? Gun running to Syria? You are such a hypocrite. You would be screaming like a stuck pig if Bush had done what Obama has done.

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 8:42 AM

The sad thing is that legitimate questions have been overshadowed by obvious partisan whining. You know why nobody gave a rats a** about Benghazi during the election? Because it was clear that the Republicans didn’t give a rat’s a** about the dead Americans, beyond their value as campaign props.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:50 AM

But let me change the my statement to simply “Republican efforts to make political hay of a tragic death make me want to puke.”

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM

FIFY

viking01 on December 14, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Rice could never win
In ’16 after all this.
The search continues!

In the 2008 game of Democrat Primary Racist Rock/Paper/Scissors, Black beat Woman.

But in 2016, Woman will beat Black, because we already did that Black thing. So Hillary wins.

The only way to beat Woman in 2016 is with Black Woman. But there are no Black Women of sufficient stature and credibility in the Democrat Party, so they had to pluck Susan Rice from obscurity, make her Secretary of State, so she could be Obama’s hand-picked successor.

But she is too damaged, now. She could never win in 2016, even if they forced her through Senate confirmation. So they are going to have to find a different Minority Woman to take out Hillary in 2016.

Maybe Fauxahantas might be interested in the job…

Haiku Guy on December 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Haiku Guy on December 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Apparently racist
And consumed with his own navel
Haiku guy spews crap

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM

The sad thing is that legitimate questions have been overshadowed by obvious partisan whining. You know why nobody gave a rats a** about Benghazi during the election? Because it was clear that the Republicans didn’t give a rat’s a** about the dead Americans, beyond their value as campaign props.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:50 AM

No phucktard…the sad thing is that legitimate questions have been overshadowed by the usual democrat & media pattern of partisan whining….”We won’t give you the answers because the mean old mean republicans are being mean to us”. Besides yelling RACIST at republicans for having the mere audacity to ask questions..the democrats with their enablers in the media…continue to stonewall the investigation. Just like Fast & Furious and other investigations. But hey, at least Obama “promised” the most transparent administration ever.

Three months later and we still haven’t gotten answers about Benghazi…and it’s the republicans fault for the Obama administration not answering the questions. LOL.

You truly are an ignorant puke.

HumpBot Salvation on December 14, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Apparently racist
And consumed with his own navel
Haiku guy spews crap

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM

20+ year member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Church of Hate and Bigotry.

sentinelrules on December 14, 2012 at 9:19 AM

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:50 AM

LOL! I’m not a hater. I just sincerely hope you all get what’s coming to you, really.

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 9:26 AM

LOL! I’m not a hater. I just sincerely hope you all get what’s coming to you, really.

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Wishing for people to die. But not a hater.

Got it.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Three months later and we still haven’t gotten answers about Benghazi…and it’s the republicans fault for the Obama administration not answering the questions. LOL.

You truly are an ignorant puke.

HumpBot Salvation on December 14, 2012 at 9:18 AM

OOOOOH, that darn media! They make me so mad!

you just haven’t gotten the answers you want. You don;t actually care at all about Benghazi or Fast and Furious. You just like pointing at dead bodies and blaming Obama.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Wishing for people to die. But not a hater.

Got it.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Wishing for the people who spew the kind of crap you do to have to depend on the coward they elected for their lives. Whether you live or die is of absolutely no consequence to me.

Night Owl on December 14, 2012 at 9:43 AM

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:39 AM

They should make you made. If you weren’t such a phucking hypocritical POS..

We heard from your media for years how Bush himself outed some low level CIA desk jockey. How is was the worst, most criminal act ever done. How Bush should be impeached over it. And they even went so far as to make a movie about it.

The press has spent more time and gone into more detail about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy than they have either what really happened in Benghazi or with Fast & Furious.

So no shortbus…we haven’t gotten any answers about Benghazi or F&F.

As far as your last comment..you are pathetic beyond belief.

Using dead bodies for political points is the democrats and progressives SOP. Your media used to trot out the war dead on the nightly news. Thank goodness no soldiers have been killed during the Obama’s administration of the wars.

HumpBot Salvation on December 14, 2012 at 9:51 AM

All decent Americans want to know the truth about both Benghazi and Fast & Furious. They want to know what happened, why it happened, who was involved and why the government lied about both.

Guess that leaves scumbags like urban dipchit, lester and squidbrain out.

HumpBot Salvation on December 14, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Keeping Benghazi under wraps and outta the news one under the bus toss at a time. She’s supposed to have quite the temper, makes one wonder if there will be some bone tossed or if revenge is in the works. Back to you, dear leader.

Kissmygrits on December 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM

I have a good friend whose husband is a foreign service officer. She says that the Republican efforts to make political hay of a tragic death make her want to puke, and I’m kind of with her on that.

Optics, baby, it’s all in the optics.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM

You are either lying or you have friends who are idiots.

I never heard of anyone with a deceased loved one who didn’t want all the answers they could get. It makes no sense except in Democrat talking points land.

We just want corpses laying around while the FBI can’t get near the place, no clear explanations are available as to what our military was doing…(until after an election) and then we have a leadership bowing and scraping about a video.

The same leader who loved to make hay after deaths in Iraq, by the way.

IlikedAUH2O on December 14, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Optics, baby, it’s all in the optics.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM

P. S. I’m not your baby.

The thought makes me find abortion a good option.

IlikedAUH2O on December 14, 2012 at 10:18 AM

What’s more important four American lives or concealing the CIA mission of recovering MANPADS and transferring them to other “friends of Dear Leader”?

d1carter on December 14, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Again, Obama manages to have it both ways, his side doesn’t want Amb. Rice to follow Sec. Clinton but they get to blame it on Republicans. He would have never sent her out to lie on six TV shows if he planned on her going through a Senate confirmation. Especially since lying was totally unnecessary. And she didn’t just lie about the stupid video. She indicated that the two former SEALS that were killed were part of Amb. Stevens security detail. They were not. How the media can push the racist/sexist meme after Powell and Condoleezza Rice is the perfect example of the corruption of the press and the stupidity of anyone who believes them.

Cindy Munford on December 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Apparently racist
And consumed with his own navel
Haiku guy spews crap

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Well, I opposed Rice
Before I knew she was black.
The ‘Rats brought that up!

I saw her on the Sunday shows, and it never occured to me that she was Black. It took a while after the Obamabots started going on about how Graham and McCain were attacking a “Woman of Color” for me to figure out who they were talking about.

It is the Democrat Party that is obsessed with race. It is the Democrat Party that chose an unaccomplished first term Senator as the nominee in 2008 because he was “historic”.

I oppose Susan Rice because she is a liar. I oppose Barack Obama because I think his policy prescriptions are damaging to the country. Race has nothing to do with it.

Haiku Guy on December 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

IlikedAUH2O on December 14, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I’s sorry, are you referring to the Conservative movement’s actions during the 60s? The political forebears of today’s Republican Party?

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 8:09

Sorry, lil fella. ALL of the segregationists back then were of your democRAT party.
No matter how you azzclowns try to alter history or rewrite it, those are the facts.

EVERY piece of pro-civil rights legislation passed since the Civil War and up to and including the 64 and 65 Civil Rights Acts was passed by Republicans. And they were passed in the face of segregationist democRAT opposition.

And you know that’s true. You may wish to deny it – but you cannot because it’s TRUE.

Solaratov on December 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM

you just haven’t gotten the answers you want. You don;t actually care at all about Benghazi or Fast and Furious. You just like pointing at dead bodies and blaming Obama.

urban elitist on December 14, 2012 at 9:39 AM

It looks as though you’ve gone well beyond being a mere hater.
You aren’t even fazed in the least by hundreds of dead mexicans killed by obama’s actions – not to mention dead American LEOs.
And four dead Americans in Benghazi are just a simple “bump in the road” to you. Even though the ambassador was a democRAT appointee – one of your own. Now, he’s just a ‘distraction’.
Nah…you’re not a hater. You just don’t give a big rat’s ass about death and destruction caused by your lord and master. YOU.DON’T.EVEN.CARE.

And, of course you accuse the Republicans of trying to make political hay out of those incidents. That’s pure projection on your part…because you know full well that that is exactly what your democRAT party would do in these circumstances. You can’t even imagine anyone NOT doing it – so we must be.

You’re nothing more than an apologist for the obama regime and a lickspittle for your masters therein.
You will, however, suffer the fate of all ‘useful idiots’ throughout history. And I do hope that it’s painful for you.

Solaratov on December 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM

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