There's been a lot of teeth gnashing and instant analysis of *why* Susan Rice withdrew from consideration as Secretary of State. I'm going to do something novel and take her at her word. She avoided most of the meaningless cliches in her WaPo op-ed, nothing about wanting to spend more time with her family or any of that rot. Her focus was sparing the administration a fight it did not need at this point and I believe her.
While I don't think Obama should shy away from scrapping with the Republicans, he cannot fight *every* battle and this one just wasn't worth it. I'd rather he stand firm on taxes, medicare, spending, and the fiscal curb/slope/cliff thing. Fighting with Boner and Chinless Mitch is important whereas duking it out with Senator Walnuts and his hobbit-like sidekick Little Lindsey is not. Besides, I've been a Kerry man throughout the process anyway.
The worst thing about this imbroglio is that it's been fought out over the dumbass trivia that the beltway MSM-particularly in what Charlie Pierce calls Tiger Beat On The Potomac-loves: personalities, Sunday shows and fake testosterone. In fact, there was a substantive liberal case *against* choosing Rice, which was made by Chirs McGreal in the Guardian:
But the Libya debacle aside, Rice was under increasing scrutiny over her record of militarism, including her support for the invasion of Iraq, her backing of authoritarian African leaders and her description of her post as ambassador to the UN as being intended to provide "unwavering support for Israel".
After Rice was appointed as Obama's ambassador to the UN, she strongly backed military intervention in Libya; she has also pressed for American intervention in Syria. Rice has also said that "there is no daylight" between the US and Israel over Iran's nuclear programme. Her supporters say that merely reflects the White House position.
The irony is that she has a hawkish track record that Walnuts should love but she mocked him during the 2008 campaign for wearing a flak vest whilst touring a "safe" souk in Baghdad. And Walnuts nurses a grudge like a demented mama bear licking her wounded cub. That's what the Benghazi frenzy was really about.
I'm glad Big John will be getting the nod. It's better to have someone of independent stature succeed Hillary than someone who is essentially a gifted staffer. I'm also less worried about his Senate seat being re-taken by Scott Brown than most people. He ran an awful and mean-spirited campaign this year, which accenuated the negative and made him look like a douchebag, tool and malaka. Besides, veteran Democratic Congresman Ed Markey seems poised to run and he's no Martha Coakley.