Monday 19 March 2018

Robert Schmuhl: Republicans' win on Rice sets the scene for a long war

THE withdrawal of Susan Rice from consideration as Hillary Clinton's successor as US Secretary of State was a victory for Republicans and a harbinger of the perpetual war Barack Obama can expect to fight during his second term as president.

Until her announcement late last Thursday, Ambassador to the UN Rice was clearly Obama's choice to be America's top diplomat. She, in fact, received his full-throated support in a post-election news conference and during a recent White House meeting.

But some Republican senators, particularly John McCain and Lindsey Graham, were just as vocal opposing Rice. With the Senate responsible for confirming cabinet appointments, these GOP members telegraphed committee hearings would be anything but a cakewalk for the candidate. They'd be bloody affairs with pitched battles.

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