Susan Rice, the potential democratic candidate for vice president, is considered one of the country’s leading foreign policy experts. But while her experience will count in her favor, she will also give Republicans a clear plan of attack leading up to the November election.
The foreign policy expert was appointed as ambassador to the United Nations by President Barack Obama, a Senate appointment at the time unanimously confirmed.
But her time as United Nations ambassador – from 2009 to 2013 – and then Mr. Obama’s national security adviser until 2017 has been called into question by Republicans – specifically her role in the Benghazi attacks.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the titles
The U.S. post office in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked in September 2012, resulting in the deaths of four U.S. citizens, including Ambassador J Christopher Stevens.
Following the attack, which was coordinated by members of the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia, Ms. Rice conducted numerous television interviews saying the attack was “spontaneously inspired” by violent protests in Cairo, Egypt. Ms. Rice later said she made that statement based on American intelligence at the time.
In her book entitled Tough love, which was published last year, Ms. Rice, 55, expressed regret for appearing on television after the attacks in front of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.
“I believe Hillary Clinton and Tom Donilon appreciated what I did not appreciate: The first person to tell the public about a highly political tragedy is likely to pay a price,” she wrote.
Republicans said Ms. Rice deliberately misled the public at the time, but none of the 10 investigations launched into the attack have revealed that any member of the Obama administration behaved unfairly.
A host of accusations followed Ms. Rice after Benghazi, making her shy away from succeeding Clinton as secretary of state. But she still encouraged Mr. Obama to appoint him as his national security adviser.
During her time at the White House, Ms. Rice formed a strong working relationship with then-Vice President Joe Biden, who she said would often stop by her office to discuss topics ranging from foreign policy to issues. personal.
“My favorite visitor without warning was Vice President Joe Biden,” Ms. Rice wrote in Tough love.
Together, they worked on Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal – since it was rejected by Donald Trump – with other members of the Obama administration. Ms. Rice also assisted the U.S. in its efforts in the Paris climate deal, which Mr. Trump has also removed the country from his presidency.
Mr. Biden repeatedly said throughout his hunt for a rare companion that he was looking for someone with whom he had a close personal relationship, similar to the one he shared with President Obama. The relationship he established with Mrs. Rice while they were both part of the Obama administration helped push him to the top of his list.
But Ms. Rice is currently the target of not one, but two congressional investigations. Although no one has yet provided evidence of wrongdoing by the foreign policy expert, making the nomination of Mr. Vice President Mr. Biden will only increase attacks by Republicans and revive Benghazi accusations.
Another source of Republican review comes from an email Ms. Rice sent herself in recent days with the Obama administration, which detailed an Oval Office meeting a few weeks ago with Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama, and the then Director of the FBI James Comey. During the meeting, they expressed concern about Michael Flynn’s contact with the Russians in the weeks before the former general was due to take on the role of national security adviser to Mr. Trump.
Mr Trump and his allies have insisted that the e-mail shows evidence of the Obama administration trying to frame Mr. Flynn, but so far the idea has remained just a conspiracy theory, titled “Obamagate” by the ousted president, rather than telling any proof of cooperation.
“It does not matter if what the Republicans are accusing them of is bullshit. What matters is that people come back to Fox News every day and see ‘Susan Rice’ and ‘Corruption’ and ‘Obamagate’ down the screen. “previously told a veteran Democratic campaign strategist Independent.
Ms. Rice married former Canadian-born ABC News executive producer Ian Officer Cameron in 1992 after the couple met as students at Stanford University. They have two children together: a daughter and a son.
Her son, John David Rice-Cameron, followed in the footsteps of his parents by attending Stanford University. But his path in politics has changed, as he became president of Stanford College Republicans and hosted events like “Make Stanford Magnificent Again.”
“I have a 23-year-old son, whom I love very dearly, whose politics are very, very different from mine and the rest of our family,” Ms Rice told NPR. “My son and I will have some strong disagreements on some policy issues, not all. And yet, at the end of the day, you know, I love him dearly, and he loves me. “
Ms. Rice found herself among the high-profile Democrats within the Obama administration after first wanting to be a U.S. senator as a young child.
But she discovered while growing up in Washington DC that her hometown lacked congressional representation as it was not considered a U.S. state – a designation that could change in the coming years.
On the contrary, she gained a deep resume in foreign policy even though she never held a chosen position, a quality that made her at first a surprising choice to be considered a fellow party member of Mr. Biden.
After graduating with a degree in history from Stanford University and later becoming a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, at the age of 21, Mrs. Rice joined the Bill Clinton administration.
She first served on President Clinton’s National Security Council for four years between 1993 and 1997 before being transferred to the State Department until 2001 as Assistant Secretary of State for African-African Affairs.
Although Mrs. Rice had long supported the Clinton family, she instead placed her approval after President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, when he was running against Hillary Clinton, putting her down in high regard. with Mr. Obama once he was elected.
Her reasoning came in the form of how Mr. Obama was always a strong opponent of the Iraq War while then-Senator Hillary Clinton supported sending troops. Mrs. Clinton would later express her regret for the vote.
Ahead of talks about Ms. Rice as Biden’s candidate’s chosen husband, the former Obama administration adviser indicated she could run against Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, in the U.S. Senate race for 2020 – an announcement that will honored her childhood dream. Six months after showing interest in the race, Ms. Rice decided not to run.
Choosing not to run may work in her favor as she may now be the first black woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket. If she and Mr. Biden were to win against the Trump / Pence ticket, Ms. Rice would become the first woman and first person of color to hold the position of vice president, with the opportunity to postpone her political career for years to come.