Susan Rice's Letter To Obama: Politics Not Qualifications Is Reason For Withdrawal

by
Owen Poindexter
Susan Rice explained in her letter to President Obama that politics, and not anything related to her qualifications, was the reason for her withdrawal from consideration for Secretary of State.


Susan Rice made it clear why she was withdrawing her name from consideration for Secretary of State. PHOTO: Reuters

Susan Rice withdrew from consideration for Secretary of State, ending a long saga in which Republicans questioned her credibility over and over until finally her political foundation had eroded and Rice decided it was in everyone's best interests that she remove her name from consideration to be America's top diplomat. In her letter to President Obama, Rice was both courteous and unambiguous in why she was removing herself from consideration:

I am fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively in that role [as Secretary of State]. However, if nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly—to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country....

The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized. 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. We cannot afford such an irresponsible distraction from the most pressing issues facing the American people.

It is specifically Senate Republicans (Susan Rice doesn't say this, but it is clearly implied to anyone who has followed this story) who politicized her nomination, made Rice into a political football, and made it clear that 60 confirmation votes in the Senate (every Democrat plus 5 Republicans) would be hard to come by, because Republicans would unite in opposing her, and those 5 votes would be more or less impossible to find.

Again, we have to wonder if a press that was better able to explain issues to the public and contradict politicians when they make false statements, as opposed to the disastrous "equal weight to both sides" policy, would have allowed Rice's nomination to go through.

Read Susan Rice's entire letter announcing and explaining her withdrawal from Secretary of State consideration here.

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