This afternoon, United States UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for Secretary of State. Under pressure from GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) over the handling of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya and deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Amb. Rice, in her letter to Pres. Barack Obama, said that “the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. The tradeoff is simply not worth it to our country.”
The Republicans are pushing for Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton when she leaves in January. There has been speculation that the GOP’s opposition to Rice and their support of Kerry, was to facilitate an opening for Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who was defeated for reelection by Elizabeth Warren, to run for the remaining two years of Kerry’s seat. Who the Democrats would run has not been mentioned. Scott Browns’ problem is that the negative campaign he ran against Ms. Warren is still very fresh in voters minds.
Ms. Rice would hace faced tough questioning from Republican members over, not just Benghazi, but her investments in the Keystone Pipeline and her close relationship with Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame. But what’s not for them to love? She is a bit of a war hawk, pressing the case for military intervention in Libya.
Amb. Rice isn’t exactly going away as she will remain in her position at the UN and in the Obama cabinet.