Susan Rice Tells Her Side of the Story

David Wagner
Susan Rice Tells Her Side of the Story

Republicans threatening to block Susan Rice's confirmation as Secretary of State got what they wanted today when she withdrew herself from the running. In her first interview since withdrawing from the running for Secretary of State, Susan Rice told NBC's Brian Williams that she could no longer stomach the "very politicized, very distracting" bickering over her confirmation.

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"Today, I made the decision that it was the best thing for our country, for the American people that I not continue to be considered by the president for nomination of secretary of state," Rice told Williams, arguing that dragging out her confirmation hinder Obama's progress on issues like immigration, the deficit, and jobs going into his second term. "I didn’t want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive because there are so many things we need to get done as a country."

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Rice's interview with Williams echoes many of the points she made in an op-ed that went live on The Washington Post's website tonight. She writes of the "baseless political attacks" that crushed her chances of being confirmed. Rice argues that such bickering at home undermines America's position abroad:

America is seriously weakened when politics come first. If any good can come out of the experience of the past few months, I hope that it will be a renewed focus on the business of the American people—and a renewed insistence that the process of selecting potential candidates for high national security office be treated in the best bipartisan traditions of our country.