NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE: Rice tapped to head NSC

June 6, 2013 at 12:11 am Leave a comment

Susan Rice Tapped

President Obama picked U.S. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice today (June 5) to be the next White House National Security adviser.

President Barack Obama talks with, from left, Samantha Power, former Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and Ambassador Susan Rice. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with, from left, Samantha Power, former Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and Ambassador Susan Rice. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

She replaces Tom Donilon, who is stepping down after more than four years on the job. Donilon’s last major accomplishment was the informal meeting between Obama and new Chinese leader Xi Jinping set up for later this week in California. Obama also nominated Samantha Power, a National Security Council staffer and author to be the next U.N. ambassador.

Obama praised both Donilon and Rice. Observers saw the announcement as “a major shakeup” of Obama’s foreign policy inner circle.

The Politics

Obama wanted Rice to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state but Senate Republicans – angry about the lack of transparency in White House explanations of the fatal terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya – blocked the nomination.

Unlike the State Department job, the NSC post does not require Senate confirmation. Observers see the appointment as both a revamping of U.S. Foreign policy and a slap at congressional Republicans who will not let the Benghazi issue drop.

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