She joked that no call from Biden had come in while we were talking.
Read: Could it be Vice President Susan Rice?
Listen to the interview here:
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What follows is an edited and condensed transcript:
Edward-Isaac Dovere: You’re a huge supporter of statehood for your native Washington, D.C. To some people, it is a ridiculous idea that Washington should ever be a state. To others, like Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Washington, D.C., shouldn’t be a state and Wyoming should because “Wyoming is a well-rounded, working-class state.” What do you make of that?
Susan Rice: What are the demographics of Wyoming versus Washington, D.C.? I think it’s an important priority, particularly when we have 700,000 disenfranchised Americans here who are, as you know, red-blooded, hardworking, decent, tax-paying as any others. And there’s a large history to this, which is that the Constitution has established something called the federal enclave. But the Constitution doesn’t require that that federal enclave be any larger than the federal buildings and territory within the city. So you could take the capital in the Mall and the White House and the Supreme Court and the Smithsonian and the federal entities and continue to reserve them as the federal enclave per the Constitution and allow the rest of the city, which is where the population is anyway, to have statehood. And if we had statehood, it would have been a lot harder for President Trump, for political purposes, to call out federal forces to club and beat and terrorize people in the District of Columbia who are peacefully protesting.
Dovere: You’re known as someone who curses, and you write about being known as “direct” and being called a “hothead.” Why do you think that’s been a focus?
Rice: I am accused of using profanity. I cop guilty to that. I do occasionally use profanity. Not in my official functions. Not when the circumstances make it inappropriate. But it is the case that I have used the occasional profanity. Does anybody remember what Dick Cheney said on the Senate floor? Told [Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy] to go F himself. On the Senate floor. Does anybody talk about Dick Cheney’s foul mouth? Or does that in any way define him as the vice president of the United States? I think it’s sexist; that’s what it is.
Dovere: The Sunday-show appearances around the Benghazi attack have become so much of your public identity. Your mother actually warned you not to do it, and thought Hillary Clinton should have instead. In the end, that became an issue getting in your way to be Obama’s secretary of state, and continues to be an issue Republicans attack you over now.
Rice: She said, “Why you?” And I said, “The White House asked me to do it.” And she’s like, “Well, where’s Hillary?” And I said that she’d been asked, but declined. And I presumed—I hadn’t had this conversation with her—that she had had an extraordinarily draining week, having lost four Americans in an American overseas facility, and all the pain and trauma that that entails for the people of the State Department, for the families, for everybody. But I agreed, as a team player. And her instinct was, “I smell a rat. You shouldn’t do it.” And I said, “Mom, don’t be ridiculous. I’ve done this many times before.” She was absolutely right.