All Articles Tagged "secretary of state"
Career Redemption: Susan Rice Didn’t Become Secretary Of State, Will Be Appointed National Security Adviser
Susan Rice, the UN Ambassador that caused a firestorm of controversy over the handling of the tragedy in Benghazi and had to withdraw from the running to become Secretary of State, is now going to be appointed national security adviser. The move is being seen as a “defiant gesture” by the White House towards Republicans who had Rice in their cross hairs. It’s also shows that even when it looks like, professionally, things are going in the wrong direction, redemption could be on the way.
Rice had been rumored to take the spot months ago. The current national security adviser, Tom Donilon, had planned to leave before the start of President Obama’s second term, but stayed on to help with the new additions to the foreign relations team, namely Secretary of State John Kerry Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and CIA director John O. Brennan.
According to The New York Times, Donilon has been the source of some recent controversy over reports about the poor workplace dynamic between he and his colleagues. Donilon, who steps down in July, is credited with a number of foreign relations achievements, most prominently, in Asia.
Even after the firestorm over her actions and comments in the aftermath of the attack in Benghazi (the incident is still being investigated and nothing has shows that Rice did anything imprudent), President Obama continued to stand by Susan Rice. Aside from that she has served as a trusted confidante to the President, is a Rhodes Scholar, and served as the senior director of African affairs under President Clinton. So, yes, very qualified. And for this job, she doesn’t need Senate approval. So there isn’t much Congressional Republicans can do to stop this.
President Obama is also expected to appoint Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize winning human rights expert, to take Rice’s post.
Not only did Condoleeza Rice recently land a TV deal — to appear on CBS News as we reported — but now President Bush’s former Secretary of State has inked a book deal.
Rice will write “an examination of democracy at home and abroad,” reports the GalleyCat blog. Henry Holt and Company will publish the book in 2015.
The deal was sealed on March 19th, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a political and military situation Rice negotiated throughout her time in public office. Many news outlets have been using the anniversary as an opportunity to look back at the last decade in words and pictures.
According to a press release, in the book Rice will talk about democracy-building overseas. “Rice will draw upon stories from her career and personal life to shed light on the essential questions of contemporary democracy, including the centrality of education, immigration, free enterprise and civic responsibility,” said the release.
This is not the first book deal for Rice. In 2009, Rice inked a three-book deal with Crown Publishers. That the deal was “worth at least $2.5 million,” according to the AP.
After months of slander from the Republican party about her response to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Susan Rice, the current United States Ambassador to the United Nations, has decided to withdraw her name from the consideration of the Secretary of State.
In a letter to President Obama, Rice said that she decided to remove her name from the running because her confirmation process would be a distraction from the real issues. “If nominated, 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.”
The president accepted her decision.
Rice, who graduated from Stanford University with honors, is a Rhodes scholar and earned a master’s and Ph.D. from Oxford University has been described as “not bright” by Republican senator John McCain.
On December 10, it was announced that McCain joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is charge of screening the Secretary of State nominee.
It seems that Rice felt McCain’s presence on this committee would make the whole confirmation proceeding messy. In her letter to the president, she said: “The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized.”
After hearing the news that Rice withdrew her name, Senator McCain thanked her for her service but said he would continue to seek the facts.
It’s rumored that aside from Rice, senator and former presidential hopeful, John Kerry, was President Obama’s second choice.
What do you think about Rice’s decision to withdraw her name? Do you think it was the right move to make?
While the GOP is working hard to keep Susan Rice, currently the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, from becoming the next Secretary of State, other groups are working even harder to get her approved.
A diverse group of African-American women leaders joined together today to show their support for Rice. The group teamed up with the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), an intergenerational civic engagement network of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, to launch a campaign to “express their unequivocal support of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice and to encourage Senate and congressional leaders to treat the esteemed public servant with respect,” announced a press release.
“It is important that women from all walks of life come together to push back when we see someone being treated unfairly not because of her work, but due to politics. Ambassador Rice has had a stellar career and has served this country with great dignity. We can not sit back and allow those who long for the days when white male privilege persisted in America to ruin the Ambassador´s reputation,” Melanie L. Campbell, president of the National Coalition and convener of BWR, tells us via email. “It’s a new day and Black, White, Caribbean, Asian and Latino women have come together to say, not on our watch! We are demanding that Ambassador Rice be given the proper respect appropriate for any other Cabinet-level member of a sitting Administration.”
The group of high-profile women signed an open letter to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Among those who signed are: Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, National Council of Negro Women; former Essence editor Susan L. Taylor, CEO and founder, National CARES Mentoring Movement; actress Vivica A. Fox, president, Foxy Brown Productions; and Dr. Natalia A. Francisco, founder and executive director, Women of Worth & Worship, LLC.
According to the press release, the letter sent to Senate intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and committee ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said that Ambassador Rice “has excelled throughout her career both in the public and private sector. Her commitment to international peace and the equality of all people should be heralded, not summarily dismissed for political gain and expedience.”
The letter even addressed the Benghazi incident as it pointed out, “While some members of the Senate have pushed back on their rush to judgment in the press regarding Ambassador Rice’s prepared remarks on the attack in Benghazi, we feel that the public integrity and reputation of this brilliant woman, who serves our country with great dignity, has been unfairly and unnecessarily attacked.”
Rice also got a major show of support from the incoming Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chair Rep. Marcia Fudge, who at a recent press conference vigorously defended Rice’s qualification and accused the GOP of being both racist and sexist. She stated, “women and minorities tend to be the target of Republican attacks when they lose to Democrats,” reports The Loop 21.
In addition to the letter there is an online petition in support of Ambassador Rice. The twitter hashtag is #SupportAmbassadorRice.
What do you think of the Susan Rice backlash?
Barely a week after we wrote our commentary about women in power in Washington, we have the ongoing hysteria from Republicans over Susan Rice and her as-yet-undeclared nomination for Secretary of State.
Rice made the rounds in September after the attack in Benghazi, reporting what she said the intelligence indicated — that a protest in that Libyan city that resulted in the death of UN Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others was a response to an anti-Muslim film. That was later found to be false. Republicans believe she was purposefully misleading and politically motivated, trying to help President Obama during the final weeks of the election.
For two days, Rice, who now serves as the US’ UN ambassador, has been meeting with Republican Congress members in an attempt to explain how things went down. And for two days, these Congress members have expressed heightened dissatisfaction with Rice’s responses.
Sens. John McCain (AZ), Kelly Ayotte (NH), and Lindsay Graham (SC) are among the Republicans who have vocally stated their opposition to Rice.
“The concerns I have today are greater than they were before,” the LA Times quotes Sen. Graham.
Today, even more members of the GOP piled on, including moderate Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who said that the handling of this situation “echoes” Rice’s handling of a 1998 attack on two American embassies in Africa. Some Senators have promised to block any nomination of Rice to the Secretary of State position.
For his part, President Obama once again came to Ambassador Rice’s defense, calling her “extraordinary” and adding that he “[c]ouldn’t be prouder of the job that she’s done.” Current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton led a round of applause for her.
Sen. Ayotte has responded to charges that the harsh criticism of Rice is rooted in racism and/or sexism. “I think it’s absolutely false,” she said on Fox News’ America Live with Megyn Kelly (h/t Politico). The site already says that Rice’s chances of being Secretary of State are “fading.”
Just as an African-American woman was on the cusp of a nomination for one of the most powerful and visible positions in government, it looks like it may not happen.
Hillary Clinton is currently on an eleven day tour though Africa. She’s already visited Uganda, Senegal, Kenya, Malawi and Sudan. But judging by this photo and the video below, she enjoyed herself the most in Johannesburg, South Africa. Recently, at a dinner hosted by South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Clinton broke it down on the dance floor. Honestly, we didn’t know our Secretary of State had it in her. She didn’t hesitate at all when this bold singer started backing it up. Mrs. Clinton must have felt free to be herself in Mother Africa. Check out the clip below.
But Clinton, isn’t the first politician to shake something in the motherland. George Bush also shook something in West Africa back when he was in office. Watch his video below and let us know who’s the better dancer.
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Over the weekend, the Internet and mainstream press went berserk over the release of nearly 250,000 confidential state department cable and diplomatic directives by the infamous whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks.
Many papers, including the New York Times, The Guardian UK and the German-paper Der Spiegel, have turned their online editions into interactive archives for the few hundred cables that have been released thus far. With over 250,000 cables to reviews, media outlets are saying that it may take days, if not weeks, before they are all published.
Needless to say, disposal of this information has made Julian Assange, WikiLeaks co-founder, public enemy number one. At least one member of Congress has declared the group a ‘foreign terrorist organization.’ Even presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has labeled Assange an “anti-American operative with blood on his hands.”
Fearing how this incident could damage the nation’s image, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been making the rounds to various world leaders to reaffirm the U.S.’ commitment to “diplomatic relations.”
Yesterday, Clinton went to the national airwaves to strongly condemn the release of the cables. She described it as not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interest, but also an attack on the international community.
So, with WikiLeak’s latest information release, are we as a country less safe than what we previously were?
According to Der Speigel, about half of the documents are unclassified, 40.5 percent are “confidential” and six percent (15,652 documents) are classified as “secret.” There are no “top secret” documents in the cache.
However, there is another unclassified category-gossip, which includes the salacious details of the budding “bromance” between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Italian President Silvio Berlusconi. It also includes Libyan President Mumammar al-Qadhafi’s apparent fondness for a “voluptuous Ukrainian blonde.”
Though these exchanges are very unflattering chitchat, it is almost similar to getting caught talking about someone behind their backs—more embarrassing than dangerous. Clinton has said that our allies understand that backbiting is a part of the game, telling her, “well, don’t worry about it; you should see what we say about you.”
However, there is some good information that has come out of the gossip. For example, now we know that North Korea is selling Iran 12 long-range missiles with enough range to reach Russia and parts of Western Europe. We also know about countries such as Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, secretly urging the U.S. to bomb Iran.
Of course, none of this is actual “news” considering that the U.S. has been very vocal about concerns over Iran’s increased arms cache. However, the information is insightful because it reveals how other countries use the U.S. an international attack dog, while evading responsibility for any involvement.
Perhaps the cable leaks might allow America to gracefully bow out of a third costly war which we are in no position to afford and probably have no business being involved with anyways.
It’s no secret that former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, has music skills. She’s been playing the piano since she was a child and has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and with Yo-Yo Ma.