Susan Rice Withdraws Bid to be Secretary of State

4 years ago

Susan Rice took her self out of the running to replace Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State, saying the partisan politics surrounding her potential nomination is not worth the trade-off. Rice, the current Ambassador to the United Nations, submitted her withdrawal in a letter to President Obama:

"If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly -- to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,"

Dec. 13, 2012 - New York, New York, U.S. - U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for secretary of state. PICTURED: Jan. 26 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - SUSAN E. RICE, permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, speaks to journalists following the Security Council's meeting on Afghanistan. (Credit Image: © Luiz Rampelotto/

Rice has been under fire by Senate Republicans, led by John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) over her handling of the September attacks in Benghazi that killed three Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Initially, Rice reported that intelligence information did not point to terrorism, but to an anti-Muslim YouTube video.

But the elephant in the room surrounding Rice’s potential nomination was the question of how much her gender and race played into the contentious fray surrounding her when she hadn't yet even been officially nominated. To many, it felt like a continuation of the dog-whistle partisan politics surrounding the 2012 Presidential race, prompting women’s and civil rights groups to petition the Senate in support of Rice.

Susan Rice and SecState have been trending on Twitter

Rice’s supporters feel that her hand was forced by continued and unjustified attacks from the right.

I am so appalled at Senator McCain, Graham and all others who led the war against @ambassadorrice. She deserved a fair hearing. Agree?

— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) December 13, 2012

With @ambassadorrice's decision, GOP knows that it can win thru ugly, irrational acts of petulance & hostility. Terribly disturbing

— Cynthia Tucker (@ctuckerprof) December 13, 2012

Why do I feel like this was just the end of an old-school bullying campaign? Susan Rice withdraws name ....

— sarah wildman (@SarahAWildman) December 13, 2012

Some stand by Rice, yet applaud her decision to rise above petty politics:

An absurd amount of time and energy was wasted on partisan attacks on Susan Rice. Her decision put country before politics. As it should be.

— Elsie Snuffin (@ElsieSnuffin) December 13, 2012

I respect @ambassadorrice's decision. If judged fairly on her qualifications for the job, she would've made an extraordinary Sec. of State.

— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) December 13, 2012

I disagree with @ambassadorrice. I think the battle over her Secretary of State nomination would've been worth it.

— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) December 13, 2012

And tweets from conservatives tend to see Rice’s withdrawal as justice being served.

Liberals are regretting the fact that Susan Rice had to answer harsh questions about Benghazi over the fact that Benghazi actually happened.

— Demetrius Minor (@dminor85) December 13, 2012

Outraged Dems/progressives: Are you truly upset over Susan Rice, or are you angry about defeat? Surely the latter?

— David A. Graham (@GrahamDavidA) December 13, 2012

Still other political watchers are commenting on what's next for Rice and speculating on John Kerry as the next frontrunner for Secretary of State

Andrea Mitchell raises the question: Will Susan Rice now be considered for National Security Adviser - doesn't need confirmation. @nbcnews

— Betsy Fischer Martin (@BetsyMTP) December 13, 2012

Ironic that the first post-election "win" for Republicans will likely result in Secretary of State John Kerry:

— Slate (@Slate) December 13, 2012

Susan Rice will be interviewed by Brian Williams tonight on NBC’s Rock Center.

Tell us what you think of Susan Rice's resignation? Was she bullied into withdrawing? Or is this a typical case of hardball politics?

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs at HapaMama and A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.

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