As the Washington Post reported,
U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice withdrew her name Thursday as President Obama’s leading candidate for secretary of state, saying the administration could not afford a “lengthy, disruptive and costly” confirmation fight over statements she made about the extremist attack in Libya that killed four Americans.
Rice called Obama on Thursday morning, before sending him a letter officially withdrawing from consideration. Rice said in an interview that she had concluded early this week that what she and Obama considered “unfair and misleading” charges against her over the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, would impede the president’s second-term agenda.
“This was my decision,” Rice said. When asked if Obama had tried to dissuade her, she said that he “understood that this was the right decision, and that I made it for the right reasons.”
Rice’s withdrawal was a retreat by Obama, who had repeatedly voiced support for her. In a statement issued by the White House, Obama described her as “an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant.”
But her removal from the scene is unlikely to quell the controversy that led to it: the extremist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.I blame the Republican political machine for extinguishing the hopes and aspirations of another prominent African American. I am not surprised by the Republicans. The Republican Party has become the modern day White Citizens Council. They are in the business of trampling over African Americans, Hispanics and women. Frankly, as a Party, they are our political enemy. Nothing they do surprises me.
However, the President's actions surprised me. Originally, President Obama stood up for Ambassador Susan Rice. He boldly told Senator McCain and Senator Graham that "if they want to go after somebody, they should go after me." When he said those words, I was proud of the President. At that moment, I was delighted to see Obama stand up to the Republicans.
However, today, I am deeply disappointed. Unfortunately, the President's actions speak much louder than his eloquent words. The Republicans flexed and the President flinched. Regardless of the opposition, President should have nominated Susan Rice for Secretary of State.
As NBC news analyst Andrea Mitchell said on NBC's Hardball, "she (Susan Rice) did not have all of the armor of a nominee.." If Ambassador Rice was nominated, White House Counsel would have insulated her from the Republicans' unwarranted attacks. Instead, in the face of the Republican onslaught, she was left open and defenseless. Like sharks in the ocean, the GOP saw blood and they moved in for the kill. Ultimately, like former environment advisor Van Jones, Susan Rice was forced to lay on her sword in order to protect the White House. With all due respect, that was not "the right decision." It is a sign of the White House's vulnerability.
Loyalty is priceless. It should not be sold for the sake of political expediency. One should never sacrifice one's friends and allies to appease bloodthirsty adversaries. African Americans are the President's most loyal supporters. No other group has provided such universal support for Barack Obama. In exchange for our support, we must demand that the President nominate more African Americans for key Cabinet positions. We must demand that the President defend his appointees against baseless allegations.
This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.