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

Related Stories

UN Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name for consideration to succeed Hillary Clinton as US secretary of state, the White House says.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


More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    Politician makes a boo boo then does the decent thing. How refreshing - wish more politicians did that.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    A sad day for American diplomacy and an indictment of Republican hyper-partisan politics. Obama should have stuck to his guns here cause Kerry will be ineffective and unrepresentative of Obama's politics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    It was only 12 years ago that another "Rice" (Condolezza) became Secretary of State after her agency (NSA) utterly failed to prevent the 9/11 resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 peope; mostly Americans. Yet, she was given the post without hesitation. Yet, Susan Rice wasn't responsible for the deaths in Benghazi (only made a misguided statement) and she is forced to withdraw her nomination.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    You have to laugh - not at poor Ms Rice's misfortune, but at how utterly desperate the Republican party has become.....

    .....they are so reduced in stature that all they can do now is go after proposed appointees......because they have so little real influence left.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    Good...a John Bolton type in a skirt minus the tache.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    "Horse trading" this a America. This is NOT the first time, the house "dislike" somebody the president bring forward. The Americans made a different system, when the broke with "old" UK system. It will work, just wait and see!

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    @Tim Gould

    Because like it or not, the USA is the most powerful nation in the world, and the actions of the US government, in this term and in the next four years, will have an effect on every other country. Ergo, the question of which individuals will make up that government and will be responsible for running it affects us, and is therefore important.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Why are we giving space for comment on a BBC website to a matter which is only a political issue within the USA? It is an internal USA matter. There are many more important news issues that are closer to Britain and the British public that have no space for comment. While the BBC does have an international presence it is primarily there for Britain and the British. This matter does not qualify

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Giving in just encourages them to keep blocking appointments. If they can't show that she did something truly detrimental to national interests, the Obama administration should have stuck to their guns. We need to stop this policy of government by hissy fit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    The BBC is showing a little bias here:
    "But later intelligence reports suggested the attack was carried out by al-Qaeda affiliates."
    Everyone knew from the beginning this was a terrorist attack was not a protest over some film, as she claimed several days later for the media. For her to lie about that should disqualify her for higher service.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    The tragedy for this country is that the intense political aggression of The Republican party's disregard for the important qualities that Ms Rice has to offer reflects their willingness to destroy any policies and people who oppose their views. They wish to destroy the UN and to operate with disregard for International Laws and Conventions. They remain a menace to this country and world peace

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    47. Overcomer

    The American News networks CBS, ABC, CNBC, NBC and owned by the rich liberals. Fox News is just an alternative owned by a rich conservative.
    Would you count the beeb in that, it often seems we are allowed to discuss things American more than things British. My theory is that it is about advertising revenue, I may be wrong though. How is democracy going in Libya?

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Maybe this is a good thing. The last time a women named Rice was in government, lots and lots of people thousands of miles away lost their lives.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Yes, too bad. Guess only our presidents can say things like "mission accomplished" and have it totally wrong but still supported by republicans.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    It seems to me that the idiotic and senseless commentors shouts the loudest!!
    The Republican party is on a massive victimisation exercise and there is only one loser and that is America...
    When will these people get it that the race is over for another FOUR years ?
    Shameful and deplorable and all this is happening in the eyes of the world . The GOP should hang there heads in shame !!!!!

  • Comment number 57.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Ms Rice is highly competent and proved her high credentials at the United Nations. The Republicans are not being objective and are determined to play politics. Obama has other candidates who will fit the bill perfectly. Kerry will most certainly pass the vetting machine. The Democratic party should think carefully. Hillary Clinton set a high bench-mark and her act will be difficult to surpass.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    This had nothing to do with Benghazi and everything to do with a bunch of testosterone-deprived sore losers taking out an election loss by going after the black woman. New Republicans same as the old. Voters won't forget at the mid-terms.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    52. David Gussie "...that alone could bring the current administration to its knees." Keep hoping, just like the claims Mittens would win in a landslide.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    @52, OF COURSE there is a cover up.

    Get yourself on the underweb mate, you'll learn a lot.


Page 2 of 5


More US & Canada stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.