Is President Obama getting ready to pick Rice to succeed Clinton?
Both Bloomberg and MSNBC's First Read are speculating that President Obama's strong defence of UN Ambassador Susan Rice might bode well for her eventually being named to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
According to Bloomberg:
Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, administration officials said Obama's unusually blunt language was part political calculation, part trial balloon and part loyalty.
They also suggest there is a political calculation at work:
Said Democratic Party strategist Joe Trippi, Obama's ultimatum to Republicans may reflect confidence he could garner the 60 Senate votes necessary to move Rice to a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate -- as well as a political calculation that Republicans are further marginalizing themselves by targeting her.
And First Read's take:
If you thought that Obama might decide to pass on nominating Susan Rice to be the next Secretary of State, think again. [Wednesday's] confrontation might have been the best thing to happen to her chances of being nominated. The president is a pragmatist and is usually someone who likes to avoid confirmation fights for his appointees. But the more the GOP attacks Rice, the more dug in the White House and president might get.
It would be a grand thing if McCain's and Graham's baseless attacks actually help bring about the thing they claim not to want. Also nothing like a strong election win to shake a few votes loose from the other side.