A senior Republican leadership aide expressed shock at the possibility that Rice would be nominated for the State Department slot and said it would almost go poorly for the ambassador.

“Lindsey Graham is perhaps to most accommodating Republican in the Senate to Presidential nominations and he’s 24 hours removed from saying he would oppose her. It’s unclear whether her nomination would be blocked entirely but what is clear is that she would not be confirmed until the entire Benghazi situation has been fully litigated, which has been something the Administration has meticulously avoided,” the leadership aide said. “The public declarations by the administration on her behalf that her public statements were consistent with the intelligence at the time are flatly false and she will be held accountable. If they were looking for a smooth confirmation she would be a uniquely bad choice.”…

A Senate GOP foreign policy aide predicted that ultimately both could be confirmed, but not without a protracted and ugly confirmation fight for the White House — a difficult way to start off a second term.