The breaking news out of Washington this morning is that UN Ambassador Susan Rice will replace Tom Donilon as the president’s national security advisor.
You may recall that Susan Rice was savagely attacked by Republicans over her comments on the Sunday talk shows. Rice characterized the attack on the US compound in Benghazi as a spontaneous event rather than a planned terrorist attack. Facts later revealed that Rice was parroting talking points provided by the intelligence community that were untrue.
Rice, a close personal friend of the president was said to have been his first choice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. But the avalanche of criticism over her talk show comments and the resulting congressional hearings forced Rice to withdraw her name from consideration.
The president was visibly angered by Rice’s treatment on the Hill. He called questions about Rice’s integrity “absurd.”
Now Susan Rice and the president will get the last political laugh. As National Security Advisor to the president she will have a key role in all foreign policy decisions. Ironically, given her close proximity to the president on a daily basis, she will arguably have more influence than had she been appointed secretary of state. And since the NSA post is not a cabinet position, it does not require senate confirmation…so there is nothing that Republicans can do about it.
This is what we see time and time again from the president’s Republican adversaries. They set their hair on fire over perceived national scandal…express their faux outrage…and drag the country through a series of meaningless congressional hearings and partisan overreach. The public see the political posturing for what it is. The president’s approval ratings rise. And the Republicans find themselves in a worse position than when they started.
The president just gave his adversaries the political finger. Do you think they noticed?