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Susan Rice On Short List To Be National Security Adviser

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who took her name out of contention for Secretary of State in the face of Republican resistance, looks likely to become President Obama’s new National Security Adviser:

UNITED NATIONS — Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who lost out in a bruising bid for the job of secretary of state, may have the last laugh.

Rice has emerged as far and away the front-runner to succeed Thomas E. Donilon as President Obama’s national security adviser later this year, according to an administration official familiar with the president’s thinking. The job would place her at the nexus of foreign-policy decision making and allow her to rival the influence of Secretary of State John F. Kerry in shaping the president’s foreign policy.

The appointment would mark a dramatic twist of fortune for Rice, whose prospects to become the country’s top diplomat fizzled last year after a round of television appearances in which she provided what turned out to be a flawed account of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

That episode ignited a firestorm of criticism from Senate Republicans, who questioned her honesty and vowed to oppose her nomination and exposed misgivings from more liberal detractors who questioned whether her temperament, her family’s investments and her relations with African strongmen made her unfit to lead the State Department.

In plotting her political rehabilitation, Rice has kept whatever disappointment she may have felt in check, employing humor to blunt the indignity of the experience.

At the same time, her staff has sought to erect a more protective shield around her, moving to restrict access by mid-level foreign delegates suspected of leaking details about her more controversial positions and sometimes undiplomatic remarks in confidential deliberations at the United Nations.

This isn’t really much of a surprise. After Rice withdrew her name from contention for Secretary of State, there was much speculation that Obama would be likely to pick her as his National Security Adviser, a position that does not require Senate confirmation. Indeed, as many ways, Rice will have more influence over foreign policy in this position than she would have had as Secretary of State.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. JoshB says:

    Benghazi!1!!

    Be prepared for lots of of feigned outrage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  2. superdestroyer says:

    Remember when Bush II nominated Bolton for the UN Ambassadorship and all of the progressives went on a two minute hate and talked about how important the UN Ambassador was. Now after four years of Rice being invisible and irrelevant except when she was being stabbed in the back by Hillary Clinton, Rice gets a promotion to replace Thomas E. Donilon. Of course, how many times has Mr. Donilon been mentioned by progressive bloggers, wonks, and pundits versus their writing about Palin, Donald Trump. Glenn Beck, or any of other irrelevant Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  3. walt moffett says:

    Would be good to see more about Responsibility to Protect and how this differs from Neo-colonialism, Neo-conservative foreign policy, and/or making the world safe for the Standard Fruit Company.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Why not?

    A guy who pumped and then short sold subprime mortgages now runs Treasury. An anti-semitic lunkhead runs DOD. A guy who threw someone else’s medals back to the gumbmint to protest the Vietnam War runs State. A guy who presided over one of the most staggering scandals in history (albeit unreported or grossly underreported, for obvious reasons) still is going on his merry way running DOJ.

    And no matter what happens the left has all the bases covered, in advance. Hopefully nothing happens. But if something does happen either it won’t be reported by the mass media (e.g., Benghazi) or if there’s no choice but to report it then it was the GOP’s fault. Or Bush’s. Case closed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    A guy who presided over one of the most staggering scandals in history (albeit unreported or grossly underreported, for obvious reasons) still is going on his merry way running DOJ.

    Holder caused the financial crash of 2008?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. @Tsar Nicholas:

    A guy who presided over one of the most staggering scandals in history (albeit unreported or grossly underreported, for obvious reasons) still is going on his merry way running DOJ.

    Holder was responsible for Brennan being sworn in on a copy of the Constitution?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. stonetools says:

    Heh, it will be hilarious to see John McCain’s head explode and to see Lindsay take to his fainting coach should this happen.

    As to the so called ” Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, is time to put away the fake outrage. There is no such doctrine. What there is the Obama foreign policy, which could be best called “Pragmatic Internationalism” if it can be called anything at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. Tyrell says:

    This has to be someone’s idea of a practical joke!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. An Interested Party says:

    And no matter what happens the left has all the bases covered, in advance. Hopefully nothing happens. But if something does happen either it won’t be reported by the mass media (e.g., Benghazi) or if there’s no choice but to report it then it was the GOP’s fault. Or Bush’s. Case closed.

    Permit me to translate the above…

    “I and my fellow travelers are victims! VICTIMS, I tell you! The liberal media-academic-entertainment complex controls EVERYTHING! The evil spreads on a daily basis and we victims have to suffer FOREVER!1!!1!!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. Rick Almeida says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What kind of dressing goes best with that word salad?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. @Rick Almeida: Italian, always Italian.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. wr says:

    Susan Rice? The woman who lured every member of the diplomatic corps to Benghazi! and then single-handedly murdered them all? She’s going to be our national security advisor?

    Impeach!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  13. superdestroyer says:

    @Rick Almeida:

    I guess the point that progressives have ignored the U.S. Ambassador post and the National Security Post for the last four years. Why pay attention now.

    I guess the point that wonks and pundits would rather write about totally irrelevant Republicans like Sarah Palin instead of writing posts about the United Nations or about the performance of the National Security Adviser.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  14. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “I guess the point that wonks and pundits would rather write about totally irrelevant Republicans like Sarah Palin instead of writing posts about the United Nations or about the performance of the National Security Adviser. ”

    Which you’re saying in a comment on a post about… the national security adviser. You’re the only one talking about Sarah Palin here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    If I count the post on Outsidethebeltway in the last six months, how many would have mentioned Sarah Palin, how many would have mentioned Susan Rice (probably only the ones on Benghazi) and how many would have mentioned Thomas Donilon. When I checked Donilon on Outsidethebeltway.com and he has only been mentioned in only nine posts where Palin has been mentioned over 100 times. There is no way that such a difference should occur on any blog that discusses relevant issues.

    If the National Security Adviser was really an important position, I would assume that it would have discussed more and a has-been politician who will never hold elected office again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  16. de stijl says:

    An anti-semitic lunkhead runs DOD.

    The Likud Party != Israel.
    AIPAC does not represent all Jews either here or in Israel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: Were those even sentences?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. @superdestroyer:

    If I count the post on Outsidethebeltway in the last six months, how many would have mentioned Sarah Palin

    In the past six months? I suspect only a few. I am fairly certain I haven’t mentioned her in a while.

    Regardless, if you don’t like the content, you are more than free to start your own blog. (I never understand the notion that we are suppose to write about what other people want us to write about. A key part of blogging is that one gets to write about exactly what one wants, when one wants).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. Rick Almeida says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I never understand the notion that we are suppose to write about what other people want us to write about. A key part of blogging is that one gets to write about exactly what one wants, when one wants.

    This is exactly the type of liberal bias that super-d and the rest of the troll patrol is always calling to our attention!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: Again, you are the only one here talking about Sarah Palin. You want to talk about the national security advisor? Well, gosh, here’s a post on the very subject, just awaiting your wisdom. You might even find a way to work in how scary black and brown people are. But instead you’re whining about how people who aren’t talking about Sarah Palin are actually talking about Sarah Palin.

    Be the change you want to see, dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. CB says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I pay good money to compulsively visit this blog 5 times a day! I demand satisfaction!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. swbarnes2 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I never understand the notion that we are suppose to write about what other people want us to write about.

    That’s not really the complaint. The point is that it’s rational for people to draw conclusions about the things you value by empirically counting posts. So if there is a discrepancy between the things you claim to value, and that things you choose to actually comment on, it’s reasonable to expect people to say something. So where there are more posts about Star Wars VII than, say, Republicans admitting that they craft policies to prevent black people from voting, well, empirically, that’s what you guys think is more worthy of talking about. On a political blog.

    I’m inclined to think that Palin herself is a political non-entity, but her popularity is empirical evidence of what the base likes, so that is worthy of discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. @swbarnes2: I understand your point after a fashion. That does not mitigate my basic point (and, for the record, I have blogged quite a bit about voter ID and not at all about Star Wars VII).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    The only reason to have a post about the National Security Adviser is if one believes that the National Security adviser is a relevant position and has some level of influence on policy and governance. However, when a wonk or pundit has not written about NSA in years, then it seems reasonable to ask why they are writing about them now.

    The same would be writing about any issue. The first question should be whether it is relevant. When one has not mentioned the National Security Adviser in the last year, I just assumed that the writer does not think the position is important.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0