Rice, a friend and confidante of President Obama, gave the answer on Thursday night in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams. It was Clinton herself that set in motion what would become the shambles of Rice’s once-inevitable march into the top cabinet slot for the second Obama term.

It was a round of Sunday show interviews in the wake of the Sept. 11 raid by Islamist militiamen in Libya that ultimately doomed Rice’s chance to have the top job. Rice, no doubt looking for the chance to burnish her profile on big issues, sallied forth the following Sunday to lay out the administration talking points that the deadly attack was a spontaneous result of riots over a YouTube video offensive to Muslims. …

But whatever led Rice to say what she said, we know that Clinton herself wisely avoided the trap of talking about what she likely knew would end up being a serious foreign policy scandal. Madame Secretary opted to let the woman who was itching to replace her go ahead and take the limelight.