Who Is Susan Rice?

Tuesday, 04 Dec 2012 09:21 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
I have known Susan Rice for decades. We worked together in the '80s. I followed her career in the '90s. She served her country with intelligence and integrity during the Clinton administration and for the past four years as our country's representative to the United Nations.

So why are Republicans making (very loud) noises about a bruising confirmation battle should the president choose his trusted aide to serve as secretary of state?

I've seen two reasons.

First and most significantly: because of what she said on a television show.

Not because of anything she did wrong at the United Nations. Not because she stood before the United Nations and claimed we had proof of weapons of mass destruction (we didn't). Not because she presided over the 1983 massacre of 220 Marines that an investigation concluded might have resulted in fewer deaths had there been something more than barbed wire and guards carrying unloaded weapons at the post.

That was Ronald Reagan, re-elected a year later.

Rice went on a television show. She misspoke on a television show. She followed the talking points. If misspeaking on a Sunday television show were grounds for not serving in high office, if repeating talking points were a fatal offense, Washington would be empty tomorrow.

Besides, no one is contending that Rice was responsible for security in Libya, that Rice did the investigation, that this was a United Nations issue.

If John McCain wanted to go after someone, the "logical" person would be the most popular politician in America: Hillary Clinton. But that would be political hara-kiri. So he picks on a woman who has yet to build the kind of constituency that made people like Colin Powell (WMD's) and Reagan untouchable.

The other rap on Rice, trumpeted in the press more than in the Senate, is that she is "difficult" — too tenacious, too harsh, picks fights.

Gee. I've never met a politician like that. I've never seen a powerful man who is rude, difficult, harsh and demanding. In my research, men who behave like that tend to be considered aggressive and commanding.

Women are "difficult." In my experience and research, every successful woman over the age of 40, especially those on the younger side like Rice, is considered "difficult."

Has Rice made mistakes? Yes. Has she learned from these mistakes? Almost certainly. Do the worst of the incidents being bandied about now date from years ago? Yes. Were it not for Benghazi, would Republicans really be claiming that this was disqualifying?

Is this even an accurate description of the ambassador? Not based on my experience. Back in 2000, one of my very conservative colleagues made a mistake in an interview with Rice that could easily, and not unfairly, be denounced as racist.

There were, at the time, two African-American women with the last name of "Rice" who were dealing with foreign policy issues. Susan Rice and Condi Rice do not look alike, work for the same party or have the same views, and are not otherwise easily confused.

I introduced her to one of the Fox brass, and the two of us apologized profusely. She laughed it off, saying she was far more interested in substantive debate than playing the race card.

I would not call her difficult. I would call her classy, informed, intelligent and committed — precisely the sort of person we need in government.

A witch-hunt over this fine woman would send the message loud and clear that the best and the brightest should look elsewhere to shine. Our loss.

Susan Estrich is a best-selling author whose writings have appeared in newspapers such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post, and she has been a commentator on countless TV news programs. Read more reports from Susan Estrich — Click Here Now.

© Creators Syndicate Inc.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Diane Sawyer's Departure Leaves Void

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 08:53 AM

Once upon a time, all of the broadcast anchors were men. Then there was the first woman co-anchor and then the first wom . . .

Shame on Media for Anti-Israel Bias

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 09:11 AM

Show me another country that would be castigated, as Israel has been, even in the American media, for protecting its cit . . .

What Went Wrong in Ferguson

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 11:52 AM

The short answer is: everything. I'm not talking about the killing of Michael Brown. A tragedy, whatever the facts. But  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved