Susan Rice ends bid to succeed Hillary Clinton


Susan Rice has been at the centre of a row over her interpretation of events in Benghazi

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UN Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name for consideration to succeed Hillary Clinton as US secretary of state, the White House says.

In a letter to the president, Ms Rice said her confirmation process would be "disruptive and costly", NBC News said.

Ms Rice has been at the centre of Republican criticism over the Obama administration response to a deadly attack on a US consulate in Libya.

Mrs Clinton has said she will not serve a second term at the state department.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Ms Rice said that she was "highly honoured" to be considered for the post of secretary of state and was "fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively in that role".

'Unfair and misleading'

But Ms Rice, 48, said the prospect of congressional opposition to her possible confirmation was behind her decision to withdraw from consideration.

Start Quote

I've defended her publicly and wouldn't hesitate to do so again because I know her character and I know her commitment”

End Quote Senator John Kerry

"I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Ms Rice wrote to the president.

"That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country," she added, saying "The position of Secretary of State should never be politicised."

Mr Obama said in a statement: "I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks."

He added that her decision to withdraw from consideration reflected strength of character and an ability to rise above politics.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who has spoken out repeatedly about Ms Rice's response to the attack, said he respected her decision.

"President Obama has many talented people to choose from to serve as our next secretary of state," Mr Graham added.

Correspondents say Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is now a strong candidate, with former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel reported to be a potential nominee for defence secretary.

Mr Kerry issued a statement strongly defending Ms Rice, saying: "I've defended her publicly and wouldn't hesitate to do so again because I know her character and I know her commitment.

"She's an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant. Today's announcement doesn't change any of that."

Ms Rice's troubles began days after the 11 September assault on the US consulate, Ms Rice said in a series of TV interviews that it seemed to have developed out of protests over an anti-Islamic film.

But later intelligence reports suggested the attack was carried out by al-Qaeda affiliates.

Her comments triggered a major political row over who knew what and when.

The attack left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.


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  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    While I doubt Ms. Rice was guilty of anything more than the typical bipartisan 'dumbing down' of public dialogue, and the GOP is near frantic in its desire for a "whatever-gate" blue dress moment for leverage, I'm glad she's withdrawn as even a victory would have been unlikely to have moved our nation forward in a new or positive direction.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Whenever i think the house of lords should be elected i just have to look accross the ocean and see the absolute mess a senate can cause if the opposition are in it.

    Stupid decision with no reason behind it other then petty political point scoring.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    I remember another State Secretary last name of Rice... she said some things that turned out to be false too, though she was National Security Advisor at the time. Those false statements were a little more consequential.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    'Massive error' AJ? What nonsense, this is just the sulky Republicans still having a hissy fit at not winning the Whtiehouse. They always act out of self-interest and never out of thoughts for what is best for their country and they have the brass to try to pretend they are the patriots! Pffft!

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Is this the Washington Post or the BBC?

    How about we have an HYS on something British like the riots in Northern Ireland, as opposed to the bickering of US politicians?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    She doesn't want to go though a lengthy legislative process which will delay the ability of the State Departments functions overseas. By declining now is probably the best she could do for the United States and the world at large. It is far too early to say that mistakes were made, but when there is smoke in the air and unanswered questions the debate over who did what, and when will linger.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Best news all day!!!

    Truth is Susan Rice simply wasn't good enough to be our Secretary of State

    Not to mention her husband+her owning millions in stocks, etc
    in Canadian oil including Transcanada pipeline
    which would have been a conflict of interest

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Welcome to the United States, where patriotism and racism are one-and-the-same. Those people who accuse Rice of wrongdoing for releasing official, intelligence-community-approved talking points are the same people who are up in arms about wikileaks. Apparently, protecting classified information is only acceptable if you are white.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.


    She made no error whatsoever. She provided the information she was given. This was just a ploy to make sure Kerry gets the State Dept nod, causing his Senate seat to be vacant and letting Republicans run Scott Brown again. It had nothing to do with Benghazi.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Be it deliberate or accidental, she made a massive error.

    I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get a big promotion at work if I made a massive error. In fact, I might even get sacked.

    So Rice might be eminently suitable but that's the way of the world.

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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