Remember the old cereal commercial where the two brothers don’t want to try a new cereal that’s “supposed to be good for you”? They get their little brother to try it and lo and behold he likes it. (Hey Mikey!)
“Secretary Clinton had originally been asked by networks to go on. She declined to do it.”
– Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, talking to NBC News.
It was Clinton herself that set in motion what would become the shambles of Rice’s once-inevitable march into the top cabinet slot for the second Obama term.
It was a round of Sunday show interviews in the wake of the Sept. 11 raid by Islamist militiamen in Libya that ultimately doomed Rice’s chance to have the top job. Rice, no doubt looking for the chance to burnish her profile on big issues, sallied forth the following Sunday to lay out the administration talking points that the deadly attack was a spontaneous result of riots over a YouTube video offensive to Muslims.
That wasn’t true, as some in the administration already knew. Not only was the attack not spontaneous, but there were no riots. It was a premeditated strike that resulted in a battle that raged off and on for many hours.
But whatever led Rice to say what she said, we know that Clinton herself wisely avoided the trap of talking about what she likely knew would end up being a serious foreign policy scandal. Madame Secretary opted to let the woman who was itching to replace her go ahead and take the limelight.
Clinton , who became the clear frontrunner for the 2016 presidential election the day after this year’s election, sidestepped what she knew, or had reason to know, would be a disaster.
Did she disagree with the White House communications strategy of emphasizing the spontaneity of the raid? Not likely since she would herself publicly emphasize the non-existent riots and the video in public remarks.
More likely she knew that she would have difficulty answering the other questions. Her agency had denied requests for additional security despite prior attacks and warnings from the doomed ambassador. She herself likely knew what the president knew, and when he knew it, about the raid and why Obama chose not to send reinforcements to the consulate.
Rice’s rueful explanation about Clinton sidestepping the Sunday shows makes it clear she knows who lured the bears into camp. Rice, a stalwart retainer of the House of Obama, knows that Clinton, the matriarch of the rival Democratic clan, let the ambitious ambassador take the fall. Not only did it shield Clinton but it also helped set up the nomination of her former colleague and ally, Sen. John Kerry.
Having survived the first several rounds of the Benghazi debacle, Clinton faces her final and greatest test: testimony before fuming House Republicans.
About that. A related story:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting, a State Department official said.
Clinton had been suffering from a stomach virus at the time, according to a statement on Saturday from Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state.
She is being monitored by doctors and is recovering at home. She was never hospitalized, Reines said.
“At their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with Department and other officials. She is looking forward to being back in the office soon,” Reines said.
Secretary Clinton had been scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill Thursday about the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, in September that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.
Jodi Seth, spokeswoman for Sen. John Kerry, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said in a statement that Clinton would not testify before that committee Thursday.
“Secretary Clinton’s team contacted Senator Kerry this morning to inform them of the Secretary’s concussion. Senator Kerry was relieved to hear that the Secretary is on the mend, but he insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear on Thursday as previously planned, and that the nation’s best interests are served by the report and hearings proceeding as scheduled with senior officials appearing in her place,” Seth said.
The Bloodthirstan Foreign Office wishes the Secretary a speedy recovery from her unpleasant and untimely malady. A stomach virus, a fainting spell, and a concussion—of all the bad luck! And how gallant of Senator Kerry to be so understanding! We trust she’ll feel better by 2016.
Cui bono: Latin for “who benefits” or “the fix is in”. Susan Rice never saw it coming, did she?