President Barack Obama’s possible choice of United Nations envoy Susan Rice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears to be in greater jeopardy after key Republicans continue to voice their criticisms and have broadened the scope of questions about her record.
Rice went to Capitol Hill [on Wednesday] for a second consecutive day of meetings with GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Bob Corker of Tennessee, who is slated to become the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and would have a key role in the confirmation hearing for a secretary of state nominee.
Prior to Wednesday, Rice had come under Republican fire primarily for her role in speaking for the Obama administration in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
But now, Collins has expanded the criticism of Rice to include her potential role in protecting the American embassies in Kenya and Somalia that were hit by al Qaida attacks in 1998, when Rice served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
Collins said she was “very troubled by the fact that we seem not to have learned from the 1998 bombings of two of our embassies in Africa at the time when Ambassador Rice was the assistant secretary for African affairs. Those bombings in 1998 resulted in the loss of life of 12 Americans as well as many other foreign nationals.”
Collins said that before she could support Rice’s nomination, “I would need to have additional information.”
After his meeting with Rice, Corker seemed to be sending a plea or a warning to Obama to not pick his U.N. envoy as the next secretary of state.
“I know that at some point I may play a semi-important role in who the next secretary of state may be,” Corker told reporters at the Capitol. “I would just ask the president to step back for a moment and realize that all of us here hold the secretary of state to a very different standard than most Cabinet members, adding “we want someone of independence.”
I could take this a thousand different places, but I’m just not compelled to do so. I’m going to be easy. Just know, Susan Collins is up for re-election in 2014 and Barack Obama carried her homestate. This is nothing, but a horse and pony show. The repubs need to look busy and this is just the thing. Mrs. Susan Rice is getting this JOB and that’s all there is to it!!
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