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.