What You Need to Know About Susan Rice

Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images
Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images

Despite the wishes of the likes of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Susan Rice might very well become the next secretary of state. Accused of having an "undiplomatic personality," she has been defended by President Obama ("When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me," he said), as well as others who argue that she's the target of a racist and sexist campaign.


Until recently, however, Rice was largely out of the spotlight. Foreign Policy magazine's Colum Lynch has a list of eight things to know about her:

Why Benghazi hasn't stuck

The most damning lapse in the Obama administration's handling of the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi appears to be the State Department's failure to respond to repeated requests from the ground for increased security. By all accounts, Rice does not bear personal responsibility for those decisions, which look particularly ill-considered following the deaths of U.S. …

Travels with Susan

For those in the State Department press corps, pack your bags and your hiking boots — because Rice likes to travel, and she tends to cram a lot of side trips on her voyages. In an October 2010 trip to Sudan, Rice led the council and the press corps on visits to hospitals, a police training station, and even a fistula treatment center. Following that visit, Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, reportedly complained that Rice "drags us on all these ridiculous adventures, including this "gynecological clinic that has nothing to do with the United Nations," according to a fellow traveler …

Curses like a sailor

Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA), Rice's key rival for America's top diplomatic post, looks and bears himself like a mid-20th century movie star version of a U.S. secretary of state: he's tall, patrician, courtly, and white. Rice is none of those things, but she stands a chance of further changing the nation's view of what an American secretary of state looks and sounds like in the 21st century …

Read more at Foreign Policy.