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Belmont Club

The Departure of Hillary

November 14th, 2012 - 2:34 pm

CBS News reports the latest scuttlebutt. Hillary’s out.

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(CBS News) President Barack Obama is putting together his cabinet for a second term, including a new CIA director. So far, only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed she will leave. And Republicans are already objecting to her potential replacement.

CBS News has learned that President Obama is likely to nominate Susan Rice, the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to replace Clinton as Secretary of State.

White House sources say the president feels he should be able to choose the cabinet members he wants, and they say that Rice has performed well on Iran and North Korea. But Rice was the public face of the administration’s response to the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, saying that they were prompted by a spontaneous protest — not terrorism — and she has come under fire from Republicans.

But as Obama makes clear, Rice was not stating her personal assessment. She was regurgitating “the intelligence that had been provided to her”. The clear implication is Petraeus messed up, but Rice was simply doing her job “with grace”.

Obama accepts responsibility for Rice, but Petraeus is on his own. As for Hillary Clinton, she can reflect on the adage “that she who rides the tiger can never dismount”. You get thrown off.

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