Though President Obama will keep his job for another four years, one member of his administration had already decided not to return to their job during Obama’s second term. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton will be leaving her position, which is of no surprise as she has said repeatedly that this was her intention for some time.
President Obama has been trying to decide who would be best to fill the position and speculation has it that the nomination will most likely go to U.N. ambassador Susan Rice. Unfortunately for Rice, there are those who feel she should not get the job such as Senator John McCain, who has publicly said that he will do “everything” in his power to stop Rice from becoming Secretary of State.
According to McCain, he feels Rice is “not qualified” for the post and is calling for Congress to put together a select committee to investigate what happened during the deadly attacks that happened at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans. What concerns him are comments she made saying the September 11 violence to a spontaneous uprising that occurred because it was a response to an anti-Muslim video and not what many feel was a terrorist attack.
McCain appeared on Fox & Friends where he said, “Susan Rice should have known better and if she didn’t know better, she’s not qualified. I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States secretary of State.” The senator is not alone as he repeated his view of Rice during a news conference on Capitol Hill. He was joined by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
Less than a week after the attack on the U.S. Consulate, Rice appeared on all five major-networks on Sunday morning political talk shows where she made the comments that McCain became critical of. On Wednesday, Graham was also very critical of Rice’s comments she made on the shows and felt that they were “so disconnected to reality, I don’t trust her. And the reason I don’t trust her is because I think she knew better, and if she didn’t know better, she shouldn’t be the voice of America. Somebody has got to start paying a price around this place.”
Ayotte agreed and sounded off on her concerns regarding Rice: “You don’t end up on every single major Sunday show without affirmatively putting yourself out there of wanting to carry forward a message on behalf of the administration. I think that there’s a certain responsibility with the current position that she has to ask proper questions about what we did and didn’t know at that point before she affirmatively puts herself out there on every major network to communicate to the American people.”
While it seems that Rice is considered “tainted” by her role in the administration’s handling of Benghazi, Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, recommended the choice of Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It seems that administrations officials have been interested in him for taking over the diplomatic post.
As of Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Rice was the most likely choice for the diplomatic post and Kerry, who is a Vietnam veteran, was being considered as Secretary of Defense. This could prove beneficial for Republicans as if Kerry was to take either post, they would have a significant chance to win his Senate seat due to a special election – which would further narrowing the Democrats’ majority.
As for Rice’s possible nomination, a single senator has the power to hold up a nomination if she or he wishes to do so. However, aides say that a more likely avenue to stopping a confirmation would be using a filibuster. In order to end a filibuster, sixty votes would be required – which is more than the number of senators that are present in the Democratic caucus.
President Obama Comments on Security Scandal, Fiscal Cliff, and Defends Susan Rice
The president also countered recent criticism lobbied against U.S. ambassador Susan Rice, who is rumored to be on the short list to replace U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me,” he said. “If I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity at the State Department, then I will nominate her. That’s not a determination that I’ve made yet.” consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
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