Susan Rice Takes Name Out of Running to Head State Department
President Obama accepts her decision and says he regrets the “unfair and misleading attacks” on Rice
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has taken herself out of the running for Secretary of State in the second Obama term, NBC News is reporting. On Thursday, Rice wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he no longer consider her as Hillary Clinton’s replacement. “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," Rice said in her letter. “That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country...Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.” (To read the full letter, click here.)
The White House released a statement on Thursday afternoon, indicating the president accepts Rice’s decision:
Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests... I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. 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.
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Rice had been at the center of a controversy over her possible nomination to head the State Department. Republican senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were her most vocal critics on Capitol Hill, over her statements following the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Both senators vowed to block her nomination in the Senate, if Obama ever put her forward.