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editorial

Obama must decide whether to spend his capital on Susan Rice

If President Obama is sure Susan Rice is the ideal person to head his foreign policy team in his second term, he should go ahead and nominate her as secretary of state, even at some political cost. Presidents deserve considerable latitude in choosing their top appointees, and getting the right candidate in a post as important this one is worth a fight. But is Rice indeed that candidate? While her much-criticized comments after an attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, shouldn’t in themselves disqualify her from serving as secretary of state, neither do they reflect well on her leadership qualities.

Unless Obama moves swiftly to nominate Rice, currently the US ambassador to the United Nations, she should announce that she is withdrawing herself from consideration, and Obama should choose his next secretary of state from the pool of other promising candidates, which includes Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

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