Rice as Partisan Proxy War

Now that President Obama and his staff have telegraphed Susan Rice as the next Secretary of State they’re stuck. Not picking her will look like they’re backing down to the GOP smear campaign, hastening the inevitable unraveling of a second term. This is how Washington sometimes works: Pick a phony fight with the president as a test of will. Even if you lose, the president is forced to waste time winning.

“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. … When they go after the UN ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.” — President Obama on Rice debate (11/14)

67 thoughts on “Rice as Partisan Proxy War”

  1. is the chief duty of the sos diplomacy?
    is this lady diplomatic?
    how is that term defined and used nowadays?
    the word diplomatic, not lady

  2. Rice would not have been my pick, but then I’m not Obama. Having chosen her he needs to get the nomination
    through. Showing a little ruthlessness in the process would not be the worst thing he could do.
    It’s time to let McCain and Little Lindsy know who will be the president for the next four years, I think that they missed the memo.

  3. When you can make the nomination for most disgusting ploy of the week on Monday…you know it was baaaaaaaaaaad

  4. I guess the goopers finally decided that polls can be accurate —

    Polling shows that if the US goes off the fiscal cliff more Americans will blame Republicans in Congress

    I am glad to see Matalin and Carville have disappeared for the time-being. Thanksgiving must be a real treat at their house. I cannot imagine sharing a life with someone whose values were so very different

  5. KGC,

    They don’t have values, they just have talking points.
    You have to be human to have values.

  6. I guess the goopers finally decided that polls can be accurate —

    Polling shows that if the US goes off the fiscal cliff more Americans will blame Republicans in Congress

    KGC, they only polled liberals. 😉

  7. I think what we saw here is the reason
    Grampy didn’t get elected in the first place
    get a few facts (not necessarily facts as they turn out) and fly off the handle…then spend time having to walk them back…who can forget “Bomb Bomb Bomb -bomb Iran”

    And Lindsay “I’m only here to buy rugs” Graham is now trying to repair his partisan hack image by defying Grover Norquist –only not really.

    The gooper image is tarnished because they spent this whole campaign season trying to convince the American public the gop was right and the rest of America wrong and of course lied to make the case. Now perhaps they have cried wolf (Blitzer) once to often and even the worst hacks in the media are reluctant to give them any credibility.

    Even though I think it is an honest expression the fact they really think their recent presidential candidate stinks can’t help their cause

  8. Rice has struck me as an individual who has used her intellect to her professional disadvantage. I sensed this during the snippets of Security Council ‘discussions’ where her words were divisive to the extreme.

    Rather than appealing to the better angels of the parties with whom we had points of disagreement, she got in their faces. Certainly no room for diplomacy to work in such an environment.

    If I was one of the people on her screening committee, I would want to see evidence of repeated instances of high-level consensus building with her being the prime contractor. Absent that, I would not move the nomination forward.

  9. Not picking her will look like they’re backing down to the GOP smear campaign

    au contrary-wise, poobah. prez looked loyal to his troops and didn’t throw her immediately under the bus. now others can float sos balloons while more others shoot them down, thus giving him a range of choice and excuse not to waste time on a confirmation fight.

  10. tech team alert: what’s with the echo of comments on the right in this thread? tho’t that was reserved for “most popular” honor. or are we in the initial stage of alzheimer repetition?

  11. speaking of state and its diplomats, maybe the prez can offer mitch mc amb’ship to burma (he was quite helpful and enthusiastic re aung san suu kyi) or maybe to taiwan (birthplace of his wife).
    might unlock some logjamming plus increase dem count since ky gov has authority to name replacement (i think).

  12. Obamarama (thanks KGC)… won the the election and all the gopp whining won’t change that fact. Suck it up, fellas…

    I did a craft show this past weekend… and I was very pleasantly surprised. Black Friday… lots of people, but mostly kicking tires. Small Business Saturday was spectacular!… had one of the best days I’ve ever had selling scarves. It feels gooooooood.

  13. I wouldn’t pick Susan Rice, but that is up to the President. Sen McCain is behaving like a tired two year old who really needs a nap. Somebody should get him his blanky and stuffie and give him a well earned time out in a quiet room.

  14. RR

    Woohoo good news Green Saturday. Mr. Cracker had an amazing Saturday. People came by his studio who said they might want to buy a painting and they couldn’t make up their minds — so they bought 4

  15. I think the Republicans are good at reading election results —in California people voted to raise taxes on high earners. California the home of “we refuse to pay” is now the home to “oh no what have we done.” We went from first class everything – to down at the bottom with Haley Barbour — how embarrassing is that. I think finally there is recognition that the ham handed approach of prop 13 and the failure of anyone to follow up on prop 13 and continue tax reform
    has finally sunk in

    As for prop 13 — the main focus of the campaign was that the elderly and others on fixed incomes were being driven out of their homes by sky rocketing property values — the proper answer would have been abatement for low income folks not fixing the rate for everyone.

    I regret to say we are a lazy country and always looking for the easy fix and long range thinking isn’t high on the list of things to do

  16. Site is being rather wonky today. Not really in a mood for politics. Anyone want to talk movies or trade recipes?

  17. Good evening..
    I think the President should stand tall and nominate Miss Rice and never give in to the Republican’s nonsense.. Miss Rice wouldn’t have been my choice either but that’s up to the President..I certainly will miss Hillary. Hillary’s stint as SOS has only cemented in my mind the choice i made in 2008 was the correct one..

  18. The fiscal cliff should be renamed the ‘fecal cliff’.
    The bullshit being floated around is just amazing.

    The pols simply have to find a way to keep defense spending where it is, and continue to pay out billions in corporate welfare, while making the people who are going to take it in the ass feel like something positive has been accomplished,and still respect them in the morning.

    At this point I am almost in favor of doing nothing, and then see what happens. 😡

  19. What traits do Washington, Lincoln, FDR share that made them the right person at the right time in our history?
    Or are they each unique to their times – if they could have traded places with one another, would the outcomes have been as successful?

  20. At this point I am almost in favor of doing nothing, and then see what happens.

    I’m right there with you!

  21. Tony,

    I saw that earlier, and it was priceless. I have a hunch that the interview was supposed to run longer than 90 seconds.
    The Rove election night meltdown pretty much exposed Fox as the propaganda arm of the Republican party, as if any proof were needed.

  22. “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in”


    This is , I think the one trait that all great leaders have in common. They will not know what is right until the decision is thrust upon them, but they will recognize the ‘right’ when it is necessary and give their reputations and their lives in pursuit of that which is right.
    They might well bend like willows in the breeze, but they will stand like oaks, amid the storm and tempest.

  23. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will be on Capitol Hill the next two days to meet privately with select senators, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), regarding the attacks in Benghazi last September, sources tell NBC News.

    Dear Ms. Rice,

    Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a complete ass of himself. Life is short, pour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy.

    Respectfully yours,


  24. If I were Obama, Rice would be the first recess appointment of my second term. The first of many.

  25. Jamie,

    Bacon wrapped dates. Don’t know how my son did it, but they were so good.
    I’m sure they were really good for you as well.
    I guess the wine kind of counteracted the bacon or something. :smile:

  26. I admit that I tried taking a vacation from politics so that I could relax from all the bull. But then I saw this in my facebook.

    Now do not get me wrong…I do not trust the Republicans with this kind of power. But for him to believe that he is above all suspicion with the abuse of power is beyond belief. The President does not even realize that he has thoroughly abused this power and he did not even need to run as a Republican to do it.

    I have to be honest…I don’t even think there should be a debate about this. This power should be taken away from any one person to hold. No debate. People are too self-centered and corrupt to hold this sort of power.

  27. Have there been some changes on the site or some changes being made?
    I hit my link and got a call to register if I were a new blogger.
    Then I hit another link and got info about advertising on trail mix.
    Finally the mix came up – not sure what made it happen.

    We are going to get some big rain by wednesday…or so it is forecast. The storms don’t always happen.

    I at the point where I mute every repub talking. I have not heard one of ’em say anthing different for several years. Chris Matthews
    was commenting today that their behaviour and talk seem like something dark, and I have to agree. they are going to the dark side and they have an aura of bad bad things.

  28. So the early rumors of John Kerry as Sec’y of State were just idle talk it now seems certain.

    Comparing GW, Abe, and FDR seems a daunting task. GW rode a horse out to the battles during The Whiskey Rebellion. That’s quite a disconnect from the other two. GW was the last President to engage in personal combat with foes. Imagine my jaw-dropping surprise when I traced my ancestry only to discover I had family members who were in the direct battles against Washington’s troops! I was flabbergasted. My family members fought to stop the taxes on the booze they made…grain was hard to transport and sell but when distilled it was much easier, and old GW wanted to tax it.

  29. DexterJohnson – Isn’t it believed that The Whiskey Rebellion was mostly fought because many revolutionaries had not lost their love for blood shed? They would have started a rebellion if someone looked at them wrong.

  30. Comparing GW, Abe, and FDR seems a daunting task. GW rode a horse out to the battles during The Whiskey Rebellion. That’s quite a disconnect from the other two.

    another disconnect is background. two aristocrats with far different childhoods, early education, social interactions than a log cabin borne boy.
    however, weren’t they all exceptionally tall?

  31. Washington, Lincoln, FDR were not just book smart, they were people smart.They were wily. Not only were they uniters, they knew when to be dividers. And sometimes they had to be the biggest bastards in the room to get things done. But they all saw the bigger picture, and realized that what they did would have a greater impact on the future than on the present.The difference between being a good Leader and a great Leader is having an innate trust in those who follow you, and knowing that if you plant an idea,and it is good,it will be tended to and flourish.
    They trusted us.

  32. I saw this headline today: Susan Rice To Face Her Foes.
    Who, the Taliban? Al-Qaeda?

    The GOP hierarchy has painted itself into a corner with obstructionist rhetoric and deeds. I still hold out hope that someone will walk out of that corner and leave a trail of footprints across the marble floor. They will lead the way to a better future. It just takes one step forward.

  33. “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in”

    And then there was poor Gen MacArthur who saw his right as being the right to nuke Red China. Proved two rights make a wrong.

  34. I think that the Pres really hindered Rice’s potential effectiveness by characterizing her as a victim.

    What foreign leader will look at her as someone to respect much less negotiate with?

    Surely, there has got to be someone better than this to be the leading diplomat of our nation.

  35. The Republicans are used to having a media if not outright friendly at least enables their lies — too bad they damaged their own credibility by pretending they liked Rmoney and “really really really thought he would win” and then immediately turning on him for saying what he had been saying the entire campaign.

    And for trying to blame the Democrats for making Mittens into the poster child for an America that doesn’t care– when it was his Republican primary candidates who did that.

    And for completely misrepresenting The Affordable Health Care Act and for continuing to try to dismantle it — the goopers deserve to go out of business for being bad sports — the very worst thing any American can be

  36. Unless prospective appointee is a criminal the president should get to pick his cabinet not be forced into a political compromise because the goops are nothing but time wasting ankle biters.

    I can remember Brian Williams proclaiming the early demise of the Democrats saying before one of the 2008 primary debates they could go the way of the Whigs
    He needs to get off the air — the smugness has become a cliche

  37. Jax,

    She certainly appeared the victim upon her exit from her meeting with McCain et al this morning.

    I suppose the key question is, who among the more than 150-million Democrats in this country will Senatorial Republicans stamp with their imprimatur of approval?

    BTW did you read the Journal Page One piece about West Point Goats?

  38. And the alleged first debate loss — now that was a pile of media poop

  39. On the first debate, I thought the Prez’s media office should have restricted pre-debate announcements to such glib remarks as, “The President is working hard on his forthcoming meeting with HM the King of Xanadu. During breaks in those preparations, he will spend some time on debate prep.”

    In my opinion, his performance in the first debate was abysmal.

  40. Surely, there has got to be someone better than this to be the leading diplomat of our nation.

    jax, if not better at least someone more diplomatic in their demeanor.
    perhaps tho’ it’s a matter of loyalty to prez, his knowing her agenda is his whereas a huntsman or kerry may be too risky for his comfort.
    how ’bout jim richardson or bring back colin powell for sos and wm cohen for dod

  41. Personally, I’d like to see someone who can bring a sense of fear to the process.

    Maybe serve as a bad cop to the Prez’s good cop routine.

    Unfortunately, as has been stated earlier, someone like that will probably be too independent for the president’s liking.

  42. I don’t know about that.
    Even today, on her first big test, she was sent into the Homeland of the Republic of An to confront its Supreme Troika. She barely escaped with her life.

  43. In Rice,Obama drew his horse, and now he has to stay on for the full 8 seconds. Probably a poor choice in retrospect.

    As for Rice, if I had been in her shoes today my answer to the Senators would have gone something like this.

    “As you know, ah, you go on the Sunday talk shows with the information you have—not the information you might want or wish to have at a later time. So gentlemen, diplomacy be damned, kiss my ass.”

  44. It was a big mistake for Rice to go to the puguglies. They are minorities: they have no standing. Let’em subpeona Rice, if Harry’ll let ’em.

    The Prez had a dream moment and lost it. He could have said, “If Senator graham thinks he can do a better job, I’ll be glad to make him our ambassador to Benghazi. In fact, he and Grumpy should head a month-long fact-finding mission to Eastern Libya.”

  45. XR,

    Good idea, John McCain Ambassador to Libya, that has a nice ring to it. What God fearing patriot could refuse such a request from his president?

    The beauty of it is that no republican in the senate would lift a finger to derail his confirmation. 😉

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