Ambassador Susan Rice, once thought a capable and effective nominee for the post, has been the target of Republican criticism over the last three months, drawing reproach from the right after a PR flurry surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, has withdrawn her bid for Secretary of State. Rice was the controversial frontrunner to replace Hillary Clinton as Clinton steps aside in 2013.
Because of this, Rice has decided her appointment is not worth the political capital necessary to continue her push for the position, saying "the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly."
"That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country," she went on, saying "The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized."
The highly publicized downfall of Rice followed a rapid timetime that started with Benghazi.
Four U.S. citizens were killed in the Benghazi attack. Rice appeared on various talk shows and repeated White House-approved talking points, telling interviewers the attacks had spawned from protests in response to an anti-Muslim video that found its way to YouTube. She said there had been “demonstrations,” and the attackers “seized this opportunity to attack our consulate.”
But it quickly became apparent this was not true. Though the wide-spread anti-American protests provided solid cover for the embassy attack, it was soon found to be the result of a carefully planned attack by groups linked to al-Qaida.
John McCain, one of Rice’s most vehement opponents in the Senate, quickly picked up allies from his party to oppose Rice’s appointment, on the grounds she mischaracterized the event.
Still, in her letter to President Obama announcing she would step aside, Rice wrote that she is “fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively in that role."
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told CBS “This Morning” that the entire situation was “silly.”
“I find it really sad,” Albright went on. “I love Washington, and I just don’t like what has happened at this point. It’s just very unpleasant and sad and something that a very, very good public servant doesn’t deserve or nobody deserves, frankly.”
Rice’s self-dismissal puts Massachusetts Senator John Kerry at the front of the pack for the appointment.
"She's an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant,” Kerry said in a statement Friday.
“Today's announcement doesn't change any of that."
This was just the largest of red flags raised in opposition to Rice. In reported on Nov. 28 she held stock in Canadian banks that would benefit financially from the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. It was rumored her manner was too blunt to fit the post.
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