I hold no particular brief for Susan Rice. I think John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s pillorying of her over the Benghazi was so obnoxious and over-the-top that I’m sure Obama was tempted to nominate her for secretary of state just to spite them.
But a Dana Milbank column I recently ran stuck with me. He didn’t care about the Benghazi kerfuffle either, but he described Rice as a most undiplomatic diplomat, who flipped off Richard Holbrooke in a State Dept. meeting, undermined Hillary Clinton and basically doesn’t play well with others:
Even in a town that rewards sharp elbows and brusque personalities, Rice has managed to make an impressive array of enemies – on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad. Particularly in comparison to the other person often mentioned for the job, Sen. John Kerry, she can be a most undiplomatic diplomat, and there likely aren’t enough Republican or Democratic votes in the Senate to confirm her.
I’d rather have John Kerry as senior senator from Massachusetts than as secretary of defense, but if Obama wants him at State, and that’s his long-time dream, I guess I can live with another special election, even if it means the return of Scott Brown.