U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, who abruptly withdrew her name from consideration to be secretary of state after a standoff with Republican senators, has emerged as a frontrunner for a different job in the Obama administration – one that doesn’t require Senate confirmation – potentially giving President Obama the last word on the embattled diplomat.
Citing an “administration official familiar with the president’s thinking,” The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Rice is a heavy front-runner to become the next national security advisor after Thomas E. Donilon steps down from the job.
Rice’s decision to remove herself from contention for the secretary of state job, cleared the way for former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton. Rice withdrew when it became clear her political troubles were not going away, and support inside the White House for her potential nomination had been waning.
Obama had harbored hopes of picking Rice, 48, as the nation’s chief diplomat. She was an early foreign policy adviser to him when he ran for president in 2008 and became the first black woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She was widely seen as the natural replacement for Clinton.
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