In plotting her political rehabilitation, Rice has kept whatever disappointment she may have felt in check, employing humor to blunt the indignity of the experience.

At the same time, her staff has sought to erect a more protective shield around her, moving to restrict access by mid-level foreign delegates suspected of leaking details about her more controversial positions and sometimes undiplomatic remarks in confidential deliberations at the United Nations…

Rice has largely fallen below the media’s radar, but her standing within the Obama administration remains secure, according to White House officials and Democratic lawmakers. Her U.N. colleagues are betting she will ultimately serve as Obama’s national security adviser, probably some time after the United States assumes the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council in July.