FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Susan Rice to advise on national security?
I’ve long contended that the Obama administration, at times, is really just trying to troll the absolute hell out of Republicans. In a move that surprises people (but shouldn’t), he reportedly intends to put someone we all agree is not very smart in a very nice spot.
Reports began coming out as recently as yesterday that the Obama administration was hoping to promote Susan Rice to the prestigious National Security Adviser position sometime in the near future. Note that I did not say he’d try. You see, that’s the rub that will get the Republicans all in a tizzy – it’s not a post that requires a Senate hearing or even their approval. He can just do it. The biggest news source on this is ForeignPolicy.com’s The Cable.
Insiders with ties to the Obama administration tell The Cable that U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has become the heir apparent to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon — a post at the epicenter of foreign-policy decision making and arguably more influential than secretary of state, a job for which she withdrew her candidacy last fall amid severe political pressure.
Here’s the thing, though. The e-mails released recently concerning the Benghazi cover-up don’t show her as part of the process that led to the “hateful video” talking points. It is a lot more likely that she was handed the talking points and did what she was told. Ambassador to the United Nations is not a part of the State Department, and is an on-again-off-again cabinet-level position (was from Ford to Reagan, wasn’t for H.W. Bush, was for Clinton, wasn’t for W. Bush and is for Obama).
One thing I will venture an opinion on: Republicans should tread lightly around this bait. Right now, there is just enough evidence showing Rice had no direct involvement in the talking points to make trouble for Republicans who want to go out and trash the potential move. If I could advise McCain and Graham, who will be the most vocal on this (bless their hearts, they want to look like they’re doing something right), I would tell them to lay low on this one. There are better, more winnable and, God knows, more important fights. Sure, “Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs” sounds pretty important, but the front lines of the national security defense force will always be the alphabet soup of agencies, a post she will never, ever be qualified for or be offered a job at.