Susan Rice, ambassador to the United Nations, is out of the running for the coveted secretary of state seat. After weeks of harassment from congress
ABC News published the letter that Ambassador Rice sent to President Obama, which is avaliable here. She starts her letter off thanking the president.
“It has been and remains my highest professional privilege to serve as your United Nations Ambassador. I am deeply grateful for your steadfast support for all we do at the U.S. Mission to the UN and for my dedicated colleagues.”
Rice doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the “why” of her stepping down either. “[T]he confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly–to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” she wrote. For weeks, Ambassador Rice has been ridiculed and blamed–which inspired a few “[INSERT SENATOR NAME HERE] eats Rice” headlines. (Ok, we just found Wonkette‘s).
At Salon, they relate the brunt of McCain’s rage issues: “He has also repeatedly distorted and mischaracterized her remarks and in focusing solely on her has largely succeeded in distracting entirely from every other lingering question related to the Benghazi attack and whatever intelligence failures and operational missteps led to it.”
But maybe, just maybe, the president would step in and refuse? Eh, not so much. In a statement released this afternoon, President Obama accepted Rice’s resignation from the position:
“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. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.”
Rice noted that the secretary position “shouldn’t be politicized.” And it really shouldn’t–except it has in the wake of the Benghazi attacks. It just happened that she made the best target after Obama’s re-election and it would be a clear target to reorganize on. Then again, if you were on the Beltway circuit this weekend, we’re told at a swank Dupont Circle party of a an ex-White House VIP that both David Axelrod, fresh off his successful CURE reception, and Rice had attended. Both were clearly staying clear of each other and may as well have put a line down the middle of the room according to those that attended.
While this is a minor step back for the Obama administration and a bloody nose for Rice, it looks like sunshine and flowers for a certain senator from Massachusetts.