Republican attacks on U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice could backfire the next time women and minority voters head to the polls, Leslie Pitterson writes at Ebony.

With President Obama poised to nominate a woman of color to one of the nation's highest offices, Republicans have gone on the attack. And if this story line seems familiar, it's because it is.

Last week, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsay Graham launched a pre-emptive strike on Ambassador Susan Rice, widely considered to be the Obama administration's likely pick to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rice has come under fire over her appearances on several Sunday morning talk shows following the September 11th attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, where she described the attacks as a reaction to an anti-Muslim film. 

Despite evidence that Rice's preliminary assessment of the attack was based off CIA talking points, McCain and Graham voiced their intent to filibuster a vote to confirm Rice as Secretary of State, calling her incompetent and "deceptive." During his first post-election press conference, President Obama praised Rice's record as the US Ambassador to the United Nations and responded to Republicans vowing to block her nomination saying that if they "think she's an easy target then they've got a problem with me."

The president's impassioned defense of Rice is also astute political strategy. If history is any indicator, GOP lawmakers continued attacks on Rice could have them playing defense the next time women and people of color head to the polls.

Read Leslie Pitterson's entire piece at

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