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UN Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name for consideration to succeed Hillary Clinton as US secretary of state, the White House says.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
  • Comment number 92.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Your pro-Rice reporting is not objective - the White House knew within hours that it was an organised terrorist attack - Susan was ordered by Obama to give a lot of interviews 5 days after the terrible events. She had no choice. Also how can she ´withdraw´´ her name when it has never officially been put forward ? More objective BBC reporting please -we know you love the Democrats but ....

  • Comment number 90.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    It is a pity that Hillary feels she needs a break and now another hightly intelligent woman is not able to pursue this. Whoever takes over will very likely face the challenge of the expected viral Pandemic - Saudi SARS possibly - now disseminated thoughout the world following the Hajj, which will destroy the hegemony of the West.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Hillary Clinton is possibly the most hated person in the US government, whereever she goes, there are diplomatic failures, missunderstanding, accusations, blames, and military threats. Who'd want to step into that role?

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Personally I agree with her assessment of the situation. People are too quick to say it's terrorism and/or blame an event on Al-Qaeda.
    American Intelligence may well say that it was planned by Al-Qaeda, and they may well have played a part in the death, but looking at the events I think you can say that the outrage over the film was enough to have caused the event on it's own.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    This a sad day and another victory for the mindless vandalism of Faux "News" type mud flinging, and their partners the GOP. No doubt a few Democrats caved under the pressure and went for what they believed (mistakenly in my view) was the expedient choice of Kerry.

    Playing into a largely corrupt and broken GOP's hands is a pointless exercise and just gives their nonsense renewed life. Such a pity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    The problem with this article and the following comments is the neglect of Ms. Rice's other critics, namely development economists and human rights activists. Her friendly ties with Africa's tyrants have put a serious damper on her career prospects. Please see the NYT article:

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    Thanx (to BBC) and to all who comment here.

    Some Comments are amazing - this lot is precious!

    ...there should be a law...regulating media...those who dissent should be put in jail...hang their heads...(or just be hung?)...

    Worked well...USSR...Nazi Germany...PRC...

    Sorry we can't get Syrian govt feed...we tend to ignore "Congress shall make no law...freedom of the press"...

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    I could be proved wrong but the most liberal state in the Union will probably elect a Democrat to replace Kerry. I suspect that Susan Rice's withdrawal is a quid pro quo for concessions from the Republicans in the fiscal cliff negotiations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    LL1162 :

    Don't worry, we have Fox/daily-mail -type bs pumped 24/7 too, but only pond-life are fooled. All respect to Fonda for her anti-bs stance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Its a shame the Americans have been so brainwashed they cannot accept any other explaination than terrorism. The world needs straight talking diplomats and Obama is a woos for not sticking to his guns and appointing her. She would have brought more credibility than Kerry ever could.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    This has little to do with Susan Rice's qualifications for the job. John Kerry is the preferred candidate (for Republicans) for the job, because he will have to resign his seat and so force a by-election, which the GOP is hoping to capture. Politics as usual, but still sad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    It wasn't about Benghazi, despite the spin. She's invested hip-deep in the companies building the Keystone XL and, as Sec of State, would've had a conflict of interest in ruling on the pipeline- part of the job... They have to spin it thus to avoid the XL issue coming back up...

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Do some people really believe the official narratives? If it wasn’t for the fact that human beings tragically lost their lives, the official US government and main stream media reporting on the Benghazi killings now sounds like some silly factitious disjointed bedtime story that some tired overworked father would make up on the spare of the moment while waiting for his kids to drop off to sleep!

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    @Ms Rice: "The position of Secretary of State should never be politicised."

    This is a world first. That the position that manages the diplomatic affairs of a country is not political. This alone indicates she does not have an all round appreciation of the job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Yup, all the Republicans are left with is effectively futile grand standing over silly little issues..... how their power base has been eroded - we know their influence was as a low as it's been in decades, but this low? Wow.....

    ....they thought the Tea Party nonsense would empower them but all it showed is the wider US people don't like extremists.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    Why coudnt we comment about "US, UK and Canada refuse to sign UN's internet treaty" i think it is more important for all of us to debate about the censorship of the net or why USA has the monopoly to control the net.

    For example, i woul like to go to the Syrian Arab News Agency
    to read the last lies of their government but it was censored.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Why should anyone be surprised when politicians 'play' (=do) politics? It is normal.

    "The position of Secretary of State should never be politicised." Really? It is a political position, currently filled by a politician. The role requires doing international politics.

    I don't know how good Rice would have been and I'm neither Dem nor Rep. But why surprise and outrage when politicians politick?

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    The shows how pathetic the Republicans have become - a big deal of a slight error in a report trying to make capital anyway they can - Poor day for the USA


Page 1 of 5


More US & Canada stories



BBC © 2014 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.