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 (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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