Susan Rice Hub




Obama To Nominate Sen. John Kerry As Hillary Clinton's Replacement

Johnkerry

With Susan Rice out of the running to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State when Clinton stepped down, all eyes turned to John Kerry, the Democratic Senator whom many assumed was high on President Obama's shortlist.

Well, turns out those people were right: it was reported late last night that the commander-in-chief plans on nominating Kerry, currently chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and an advocate of equality.

Republicans have already indicated that Kerry would breeze through the nomination, one of the reasons UN Ambassador Rice stepped aside. They prefer Kerry not only for his foreign policy acumen, which Rice also has, but for the fact that his ascension to Secretary of State would get him out of the Senate, potentially freeing up some space for the GOP, though not for a little while.

CNN lays out how a power transfer would unfold:

If nominated by the president and confirmed by his colleagues in the Senate, Kerry would leave Congress, and Deval Patrick, Massachusetts' Democratic governor, would appoint a replacement.

By state law, a special general election is required to take place 145 to 160 days after a vacancy occurs. So if Kerry were nominated, confirmed, and then stepped down on January 21 (Inauguration Day), the election would take place between June 14 and June 29, with primary elections being held six weeks earlier.

Whoever wins the special election would serve the final year and a half of Kerry's term and would then be able to run again for a full six-year term in office in the 2014 midterm elections.

The formal announcement should be coming early this week.


Susan Rice Pulls Name From Secretary Of State Consideration

SusanRice

MSNBC is reporting that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has taken her name out of the running to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State when Clinton steps down next year.

The confirmation process, which Republicans have vowed to derail, "would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Rice wrote to President Obama in a letter obtained by NBC News.

"That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country...Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time." Rice, a fierce advocate of international LGBT rights, also reportedly said she is "saddened" by the partisan bickering that arose over her consideration.

"The position of secretary of state should never be politicized," she wrote. "I’m saddened that we have reached this point, even before you have decided whom to nominate. We cannot afford such an irresponsible distraction from the most pressing issues facing the American people.”

Republican Sens. John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham have been particularly voracious in their attacks on Rice, particularly her handling of the attack on the States' embassy in Benghazi, an attack that left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others dead.


UN Ambassador Susan Rice Laments Oppression of LGBT People in International Human Rights Day Statement

Today is International Human Rights Day and UN Ambassador Susan Rice released a statement marking it:

RiceOn Human Rights Day, we celebrate a simple but powerful declaration that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Adopted 64 years ago today, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stands as a monument to the courage of its founders and to freedoms longed for by every human being. But the fight for these freedoms—from demagogues and from tyrants, from the shackles of slavery and from the censor’s pen—did not end with the historic adoption of the Universal Declaration on December 10, 1948. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, success in the struggle “is a question of actually living and working in our countries for freedom and justice for each human being.”
 
Today, we pledge to live up to Eleanor Roosevelt’s inspirational example, for in far too many places human freedoms are still denied. As long as a family anywhere is tormented by a state-sanctioned killer; a peaceful agitator is hounded by a violent brigade; an artist is locked away for expressing what she thinks; an LGBT individual is harassed because of whom he or she loves; a community is beleaguered because of how it worships; a person with a disability is marginalized by those who ignore plain injustice; or a girl is threatened for having the audacity to pick up a book; all of our rights have been violated.
 
The United States is relentless in pursuit of a world that protects these rights. We fight for them at the United Nations, where we have made important strides, because we know that American leadership in the world can bring action against oppressors and hope to the oppressed. Our job is not done and the path ahead is fraught. But may we work together every day for the cause of human rights, so that our efforts can forge a world that respects our differences, protects our dignity, gives our children opportunities to pursue their dreams, and ensures that freedoms we have pledged to protect are universally enjoyed.


Susan Rice Stake in Keystone Pipeline Could Be Stumbling Block in Confirmation Hearings

UN Ambassador Susan Rice holds a stake in TransCanada, the company seeking an American permit to build the proposed the Keystone XL pipeline, the NYT reports:

RiceAccording to financial disclosure documents filed in May, Ms. Rice owns from $300,000 to $600,000 worth of stock in the Canadian pipeline company. Because the State Department oversees transboundary pipelines, the Secretary of State is ultimately responsible for determining whether Keystone XL should go forward.

But her stock holdings in TransCanada,  first reported by the Sunlight Foundation and Onearth.org, an environmental publication affiliated with the Natural Resources Defense Council, would surely complicate the issue.

According to the United States Office of Government Ethics, federal law requires executive branch employees to be recused from matters “if it would have a direct and predictable effect on the employee’s own financial interests or on certain financial interests that are treated as the employee’s own.”

Congressional Republicans are no doubt salivating.

The WaPo published a lengthy profile on Ms. Rice yesterday, noting that "every little thing about the 48-year-old Rice matters now that she’s the presumptive front-runner to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state."


UN Approves Resolution Condemning Executions Motivated by Anti-LGBT Bias

The United Nations last week approved a resolution condemning executions motivated by anti-LGBT bias, the AP reports:

UnDelegates in New York approved a resolution that condemned killings based on sexual orientation and, for the first time, gender identity. An amendment by the United Arab Emirates to strip sexual orientation and gender identity from the list was defeated 86-44.

Gay rights advocates said the Vatican, a non-U.N. member with "observer" status, sought to remove all references to protected categories, but its proposal was never brought up for a vote.

The United States voted to retain the language based on sexual orientation and gender identity but abstained from the final vote as is its policy on votes related to the death penalty.

U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice applauded the vote:

"The proposed change would have effectively sent a message to the world that people targeted on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity do not enjoy the same right to life as others. The United States will fight to ensure that the remarkable progress the U.N. has made on LGBT issues in the last four years is not rolled back."

(h/t think progress)


Obama Responds to 'Outrageous' McCain Threats to Block Possible Nomination of Susan Rice: VIDEO

Sr_obama

In his 16th press conference today, President Obama took a hard stance over threats by John McCain and Lindsey Graham to block UN Ambassador Susan Rice over the attack in Benghazi if he chose to nominate her for Secretary of State.

"If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on the intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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