Thanks to the political equivalent of a "come at me, bro" from the President yesterday, it looks like Susan Rice is one step closer to becoming the Secretary of State. And we haven't even heard from any Senators yet. Yesterday, during his first press conference after being reelected, President Obama defended his ambassador after Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain told the media they were going to block her since she said some things that were incorrect about the Benghazi terrorist attack on Sunday chat shows. Obama said:
If Sen. McCain and Sen. 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 intelligence that she had received? And to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.
Notice there was no "I'm going to nominate Rice" or "She's my next Hillary" from Obama. But it all sort of laid the groundwork should he nominate her. And because politics is weird and there's ton of reading between the lines and whatnot, we now have dueling reports from NBC News and Bloomberg that Rice is way closer to becoming Secretary of State than she was pre-press conference. Here's why:
The President Made Things Awkward for Republicans: So remember all that talk from both sides on election night about unity? Yeah. Think about that. And then think about what McCain and Graham did. "If it starts to look like this is just another attempt to obstruct instead of,'‘Look, we’re one country. We can at least let the president have his nominees,' I think it really makes them look like they still want to fight -- and people are sick of the fighting," Democrat Party Strategist Joe Trippi told Bloomberg.