Election 2020

Susan Rice Raises Hand When Jen Psaki Asks for Susan Collins Challengers

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice speaks at the J Street National Conference in Washington on April 16, 2018 (Michael Brochstein/Sipa via AP Images)

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice raised her hand when President Obama’s former communications director asked which Dem would be willing to challenge Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) when her seat is up for re-election in 2020.

Collins announced on the Senate floor this afternoon that she would vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, prompting angry Democrats to float names of candidates who might face the fourth-term incumbent.

Rice then added, “Many thanks for the encourgement. I’m not making any announcements. Like so many Americans, I am deeply disappointed in Senator Collins’ vote for Kavanaugh. Maine and America deserve better.”

Rice also served as UN ambassador during the Obama administration, and was under consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of State but withdrew her name from consideration as the Benghazi controversy dovetailed with when she would have faced confirmation hearings. The position of national security advisor doesn’t require Senate confirmation.

Last year, she became a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow in the School of International Service at American University, and this year she joined the board of directors at Netflix.

She doesn’t, however, live in Maine. Her mother is a Portland, Maine, native and the family had a summer home in the state.

On the right, tweeters were floating challengers for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who won’t be up for election for four years. Murkowski has relied over the years on solid backing from Alaskan Native leaders, who opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination.

A former Alaska governor issued a potential challenge to the incumbent:

Murkowski was primaried and lost in the 2010 Tea Party midterms, but ran as a write-in candidate and defeated Joe Miller.

Miller ran as a Libertarian against Murkowski in 2016 and got 29 percent of the vote, compared to 44 percent for the incumbent.