It was never all that clear that Sen. John McCain had enough allies to successfully filibuster U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's potential nomination as Secretary of State, but now we're not even sure McCain has his own vote. On Fox News Sunday, McCain was asked whether Rice could say anything to change his mind about blocking her. "Sure, I give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took," he responded. "I’ll be glad to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her." And on ABC's This Week, McCain's anti-Rice ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said, "I blame the president above all others." He continued sounding a little less harsh than in previous interviews, saying, "When she comes over, if she does, there will be a lot of questions asked of her about this event and others."
The question, then, as Congress returns and President Obama's cabinet continues to take shape, is not just whether Rice will be nominated, nor whether the questions will be tough, but whether there will be enough tough questioners to actually block her from office. With the strongest critics of Rice easing up, it looks less likely they've convinced enough senators to get
60 41 votes to filibuster her. Why?