You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Rice On Deck

Completely idle speculation here, but Obama's decision to name Susan Rice as UN ambassador and re-elevate the post to a Cabinet-level position can be read as a clear message to Hillary Clinton: Better toe the line, because you can be replaced in a heartbeat. Rice has been a long-time Obama adviser, and early on her name was bantered about to lead State. But there were two knocks against her: inexperience and, to be delicate, a certain lack of diplomatic tact. The UN post will resolve both--as opposed to, say, deputy secretary of state or deputy NSA, which would not have given her the same training, nor put her in a direct line to succeed Clinton. Obama doesn't seem like the firing type, but merely having Rice on hand to take over Foggy Bottom gives him a powerful check against an assertive secretary of state.

 --Clay Risen