United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name Thursday from consideration to be secretary of state, sparing the Obama administration what could have been a bruising congressional confirmation battle.
Rice submitted a letter to President Barack Obama stating that “I am fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively” as the successor to outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “However, if nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and our most pressing national and international priorities.”
Obama said he accepted Rice’s request with regret after speaking with her.
“I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team…,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first.”
Congressional Republicans had set their sights on Rice after she appeared on Sunday news shows in the aftermath of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, and forcefully stated that the attack spawned from a spontaneous demonstration.
The attack proved to be a product of terrorism. Rice said she was reading from talking points provided by the intelligence community at the request of congressional leaders. Still, Republican lawmakers like Sen. John McCain, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, accused Rice of politicizing the Benghazi attack in the weeks leading to the presidential election, a charge that she and the White House vehemently denied.
“The position of secretary of state should never be politicized,” Rice said in her letter to Obama. “As someone who grew up in an era of comparative bipartisanship and as a sitting U.S. national security official who has served in two U.S. administrations, I am saddened that we have reached this point, even before you have decided whom to nominate.”
Shortly after his re-election, Obama appeared to signal that he was willing to fight for Rice’s nomination, telling reporters that anyone who has a problem with Rice has a problem with him. House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn and members of the Congressional Black Caucus suggested that criticism of Rice had racial overtones. Some suggested in particular that Graham was up for re-election in South Carolina in 2014 and moving more to the political right to protect himself.
“I’m still proud of @Ambassador Rice and glad she will continue to serve,” Clyburn tweeted. “Her Republican critics need to stop their mindless partisanship.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a former Congressional Black Caucus chair, tweeted: “Disappointed Amb. Rice, such a well-qualified woman of color would be denied a fair shot @ Sec State based on unfounded political attacks.”
Republicans, meanwhile, rejoiced in Rice’s decision. Brian Rogers, a McCain spokesman, said “Senator McCain thanks Ambassador Rice for her service to the country and wishes her well.”
Graham said “I respect Ambassador Rice’s decision,” adding that “President Obama has many talented people to choose from to serve as our next Secretary of State.”
“When it comes to Benghazi I am determined to find out what happened – before, during, and after the attack,” Graham said.
“Unfortunately, the White House and other agencies are stonewalling when it comes to providing the relevant information. I find this unacceptable.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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