Really? Seriously? Really?
A newly reelected president has a limited amount of political capital that should be expended wisely. You may disagree with George W. Bush’s failed 2005 pushes on comprehensive immigration reform or private Social Security accounts, but you can’t argue that these were small ideas. Nor were Obama’s first-term drives for a massive stimulus package, health reform and an overhaul of financial regulations in the wake of the Wall Street collapse. Agree or disagree, they were fundamental and important.
Going to the mat on a personnel matter like Rice, by contrast, would be more about ego and base pacification than what’s important for the country.
It’s not that Republicans have a particularly strong case against the U.N. ambassador and her unfortunate round of Sunday show appearances on Benghazi. But her inability to win over several GOP senators in one-on-one meetings did not inspire confidence. And as many have noted, her record and temperament are problematic in some respects. Beyond that, as much as Obama may like and respect Rice, there are other good candidates for the job, topped by Senate Foreign Relations chairman John Kerry. (Source)
A D.C. convention I can’t stand: The anonymous Temperament Takedown. As in this, about U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, as her prospects of being nominated for secretary of state cloud:
A longtime foreign-policy expert who has worked for Democratic administrations, and has dealt with Rice personally, also raised questions about her suitability. “She’s quite smart but temperamentally unfit for the job” because she doesn’t brook disagreement well, this expert said. “Her voice is always right on the edge of a screech. You want somebody who has a sense of authority. It’s like [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner at the beginning. He had no air of authority about him.”
It’s a cleverly constructed quote that walks up to the line of sexism—“right on the edge of a screech”—and then insulates itself with the Geithner comparison. The basic idea, though, is that Rice is thin skinned instead of authoritative, aggressive instead of thoughtful. It reminds me of the anonymous attacks on Justice Sonia Sotomayor (conveyed by Jeff Rosen) before Obama nominated her: “not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench,” and “domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren’t penetrating and don’t get to the heart of the issue.” Then as now, people who had worked with the temperamentally unfit woman in question leaped to her defense.
I don’t know whether Obama should choose Rice or not, but I really hope this temperament attack isn’t part of his calculation. In a city in which Rahm Emanuel’s profane eruptions were celebrated, it’s hard not to suspect a double standard. Maybe this is just one more example of confusing personality with policy, an equal opportunity problem. (Source)
The terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a tragedy, and four people died. Republicans are sure that Susan Rice and the president are lying about what happened and say they are "not satisfied" with the explanations that were given.
But how many American military personnel, contractors and Iraqi citizens have died, and how many more have sustained traumatic, life-changing injuries, because of the lies that got us into the Iraq War? Where is the outrage over that?
I wonder if the families and friends of the thousands of people killed or wounded in Iraq are "satisfied" with the explanations they were given. It seems the four Americans who died in Benghazi are somehow very much more important than all of those others. (Source)
Republican criticism of Rice following the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead has complicated the possibility President Barack Obama might nominate her to replace Clinton as secretary of state. At issue are talking points Rice conveyed on the Sunday public affairs television shows following the attack which did not label the assault a deliberate act by terrorists. Critics have said she knowingly misled the public while Rice and the White House maintain she made clear the information provided was based on the best intelligence available at the time.
Clinton praised Rice as a capable leader and insisted "she made very clear in her appearances that the information was subject to change as more facts were gathered and analyzed by the intelligence community" in a press conference after a speech at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Dublin Thursday. (Source)