How many strikes DOES Rice have against her?

Just to get something new up on the blog for discussion, I thought I’d share something I read in the WSJ today. It was about Susan Rice, and, this being the WSJ, it didn’t exactly build her up.

In fact, it was (if to be believed) a pretty damning account of her handling of a crisis situation in Sierra Leone during the Clinton administration.

Basically, she stood up for, championed and espoused a deal involving, and rewarding, a revolutionary faction that apparently would make other child-soldier-exploiting, limbs-hacking, baby-raping elements in Africa look good by comparison. And it all came to a bad end very quickly, so that the U.S. was completely discredited as an arbiter in that country, and Tony Blair had to send the Tommies in and, in Blair’s own words, “sort out” the bad guys and put things to rights.

So… more abuse heaped on poor Susan Rice by a columnist who carries water for the other side of the aisle, right?

But here’s the thing I’m noticing about Susan Rice…

There is so much stuff out there that makes her look bad.

First, there’s her getting it wrong about Benghazi days after she should have gotten it right. But if there’s only that, well, I suppose we can dismiss that as McCain and Graham chasing a Great White Whale. The guys are just obsessed, right? Anyone’s entitled to a bad day on national television.

But then there was the Rwanda stuff, which truly did not make her look good.

Then, while I’ve been sick, apparently other stuff has come out bearing on Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to Bret Stephens anyway, who wrote this column today as well as an earlier one on those incidents.

Think about this…

Susan Rice is being talked about to replace Hillary Clinton. Now, there’s a woman with some political enemies. Ask her; she’ll tell you. Ask any Democrat, for that matter.

And yet, think about it… Has anyone ever gone around telling story after story about her indicating gross ineptitude, a political tin ear, aggressive cluelessness? I mean, they might have hated her, but no one ever said she was bad at the job — any job — per se.

In fact, I’m trying to think whether I can recall a secretary of state nominee ever who was dogged by so many stories — true or not — of fouling up royally in the course of conducting U.S. foreign policy. I can’t.

Which is disturbing.

OK, that’s it. I’m worn out; going to bed. But I wanted to throw out something new for y’all to talk about. Show I’m still kicking.

45 thoughts on “How many strikes DOES Rice have against her?

  1. Steve Gordy

    Glad to see you’re still with us. What do you think about the possibility that the Guv will appoint Jenny Sanford to the (soon to be) open Senate seat?

  2. bud

    John Kerry would make a great Secretary of State. Yeah that would put the MA senate seat at risk but I think his selection would be non-controversial AND he’s the best guy for the job. As a liberal I would like his “small footprint” world view. Plus he’s smart and thoroughly vetted.

  3. bud

    As for the Wall Street Journal article what can you say. That rag doesn’t have much more credibility any more than the National Enquirer. The whole thing was based on Tony Blair’s memoirs. Seriously can’t they at least provide a tiny bit of Ms. Rice’s side of the story? Given Blair’s horrendous record with Iraq I’d think the least any fair-minded journalist could do is provide a modest amount of balance.

  4. Karen McLeod

    The question is whether or not the stories are true. The political hatred of ‘all-things-Obama’ is such that it may be a case of people flat out lying about her. On the other hand, if they are true, Mr. Obama should look elsewhere for a secretary of state.

  5. Steven Davis II

    If it’s up to conservatives I’ve talked to, several seem to be “Give Obama what he wants and to hell with the consequences… if he’s calling for more rope, give him more rope.”.

  6. Bryan Caskey

    It’s not fair to judge her on her results. You have to look at her good intentions in all these matters. I’m sure she would be a very well-intentioned Secretary of State.

  7. Brad

    And of course, Tony Blair does not have a “horrendous record with Iraq.” His record is impeccable. If only, as a friend of mine said at the outset of the War on Terror, Tony could have been in charge of it all. Everything would have gone so much better.

  8. Doug Ross

    @SD II

    My feelings exactly. I think the best play by Republicans now would be to not negotiate but instead give in on everything Obama asks for. We’re already seeing the Obamacare taxes coming down the horizon. Let Obama own the next two years and then let the people decide if he’s got us on the right path or not.

    Compromise will end up with the worst of both worlds. Better to have the worst of one.

  9. Karen McLeod

    @Steve. Given the choice between Jenny Sanford and Stephen Colbert, there’s only one reasonable option, but I’ll miss his show.

  10. Juan Caruso

    I share your reservations over Ambassador Rice, Brad, and certainly wish your speedy recovery, but comparing Rice’s baggage to Hillary’s may just demonstrate greater maturity in the latter’s political shrewdness.

    Plausible deniability. Good riddance to both lawyers:

    “There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.” –Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on “Face the Nation,” March 27, 2011

    “I referenced opinions of others. That was not speaking either for myself or for the administration.”
    –Clinton, two days later


  11. Bart

    Bryan Caskey says:

    December 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    It’s not fair to judge her on her results. You have to look at her good intentions in all these matters. I’m sure she would be a very well-intentioned Secretary of State.


    Maybe she is a student of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and adheres to the principles in his book, “The Power of Intention”.

  12. tavis micklash

    The lines on Susan Rice are getting muddled. Race is getting drawn into it.

    I believe that the Dems in this case are the only one bringing it up. The only reason she was on the radar was because she delivered talking points on Sunday shows that later were pretty much panned. She became ground zero in the proxy war on the Benghazi affair.

    Now other information is getting dug up. This is being used to discredit the president’s decision. Again as part of the proxy battle in washington.

    So the Dems are going to the well and screaming RACISM because the republicans used the word incompetent about the Benghazi handling, stating it is a code in the good ole south as a way to keep African Americans down.

    Another unrelated example is the pushback on Mia Garrick for not “protecting” a black women that completely screwed up an election.

    Race in both situations has NOTHING to do with it. It is the perfect foil to defend a very poorly branded party that allowed itself to be viewed as the party of Old Rich White Men.

    Stuff is definitely coming up about Rices state department career. It looks really bad. Due to the way the story played out all its going to do is look like the republicans trying to keep a young black women down just because a small involvement in the Benghazi thing.

    The American people as a whole just aren’t believing anything that comes out of the national wing of the RNC ATM. Even if it is true.

  13. bud

    I think the best play by Republicans now would be to not negotiate but instead give in on everything Obama asks for.

    Be careful what you wish for. If Obama were to get everything he wanted the economy would boom, wage would rise, our infrastructure would be dramatically improved, everyone would have healthcare and the nation and world would be a far, far better place. So go ahead Republicans, make my day and cave like Doug and SD II want. We can only hope.

  14. Doug Ross


    I’d love to see the backpedaling Obama and Reid and Pelosi would do if Boehner said, “You know what, let’s try all your ideas! Spend as much as you want, tax as much as you want, go into as much debt as you want… it’s all yours, friend… you got the mandate, you get the glory”.

    You think Wall Street would respond positively or not?

  15. Doug Ross


    You did see the news about the hidden $25B in taxes coming in Obamacare in 2014, right? $63 dollars per employee. $25 billion. All going into a fund to pay back to private insurance companies for covering pre-existing conditions. Now why would the money have to flow from employee to the government to the insurance companies? Why couldn’t the insurance companies just set the rates they need to in order to cover those pre-existing conditions?

    Hmmmm… doesn’t sound very efficient does it to add a level of bureaucracy and take those dollars out of providing healthcare…

    There will be more to come on Obamacare… more taxes, more regulations… i.e. nirvana for you

  16. bud

    Doug what you have pointed out is a flaw in the whole private insurance folly. Obamacare is an attempt to keep that while providing more people coverage. Indeed covering folks with pre-existing conditions is costly. But it has ALWAYS been costly to someone. At least now we have a smidgeon of transparancy that reflects what had been a very much hidden cost.

    I have a better idea. Let’s get rid of the insurance companies. Then voila, no middleman. Just let the government deal with the pre-existing conditions problem through a single-payer system.

  17. Doug Ross


    More people covered, no change in number of doctors and hospitals. Wonder how that’s going to work out?
    Face time with providers (when you can get it) will be cut even further. More “free” colonoscopies and mammograms will lead to more unnecessary procedures further eating into available health care dollars. Doctors unsatisfied with Medicare reimbursement rates will stop taking Medicare patients.

    We’ll see how things look in 2014. If I hear ANY Democrats complaining about private insurance companies at that point, I’ll just laugh. Obaamacare is the cure for what ails us, right? You get what you voted for.

  18. Karen McLeod

    I don’t know if the insurance companies will admit it or not, but I think that any money lost covering those with preexisting conditions will more than be made up by hospitals charging less because they don’t have the repeated costs of having to provide expensive acute care for those same folks (those people who go to the emergency room and can’t pay). Those costs are built into our hospital bills, and insurance companies end up paying the bulk anyway.

  19. Bob Amundson

    CNN is reporting Susan Rice has asked the President to remove her from consideration for Secretary of State and the President has agreed to do so.

  20. Steven Davis II

    @bud – It’s not “caving”, it’s being fed up with Democrats and Obama and letting them have their way to see how F’d up this country would be within a year. Pretty soon we’ll be borrowing money from Mexico to pay for all of the entitlement programs Obama will put into place.

    I like many conservatives are already cutting back on unnecessary spending. If it doesn’t have four legs, it’s not getting a dime from me in charity… I’ll just tell them Obama will take care of them and to go to the nearest welfare office for assistance. Screw spending money on things that will not do anything that will help anyone else if it doesn’t benefit me. Gun manufacturers and ammunition manufacturers are having record years, most gun manufacturers can not produce fast enough for the demand. Forget investing in the stock market, lead, brass, gold and silver is going to be where the money is once the economy collapses.

  21. Steven Davis II

    @bud – If you think there’s red tape getting tests and procedures approved now with private insurance companies, just wait until you have to get governmental approval to get a procedure done. If run like every other federal agency, that test you need immediately might be approved in 4-6 weeks.

  22. Steven Davis II

    @Karen – “those people who go to the emergency room and can’t pay”

    So suddenly they’re going to be able to pay under Obamacare?

    What about the doctors in private practice who will refuse to see new patients who can not afford anything but government insurance? They’re doing it right now with Medicare and Medicaid patients, because neither of those programs pay enough to cover the doctor’s overhead for the procedures.

  23. Brad Warthen

    Yes, and that’s probably for the best. I’d gotten to the point I was starting to worry about the idea of her being SecState…

  24. Kathryn Fenner

    Free colonoscopies will pay for themselves. Colonoscopies are hardly undertaken unnecessarily, and can actually cure cancer.

    Mammograms are another story. Studies now show that mammograms don’t seem to save lives and actually may lead to harmful treatments. Early detection may lead to unnecessary treatment and hasn’t led to fewer deaths.

  25. Karen McLeod

    Those people with pre-existing conditions, who previously could not get insurance were stuck going to emergency rooms for anything worse than the flu, because they had no insurance; and no they couldn’t foot a multi thousand dollar debt.

  26. bud

    If you think there’s red tape getting tests and procedures approved now with private insurance companies, just wait until you have to get governmental approval to get a procedure done.
    -SD II

    We don’t have to wait. Currently there is the for-profit, insurance driven healthcare system. And there is the government supported systems (medicare, medicaid, VA). The VA has become a model for efficiency in delivering healthcare to our veterans. Costs are lower and outcomes better than any other sector of our medical delivery system. There is almost certainly less red-tape and unnecessary procedures than in the insurance delivery system. Plus there isn’t all the “waste” associated with profits and outrageous executive salaries. Let’s give Obamacare a chance folks without all this constant sniping. It’s not my choice for healthcare in the USA but given what we had before it’s worth an honest appraisal rather than all this sour grapes bitching.

  27. Doug Ross

    “The VA has become a model for efficiency in delivering healthcare to our veterans. ”

    Yeah, maybe you should ask some veterans about that.

    Story from yesterday’s The State:

    According the report from the Mayor’s Veteran’s Committee:

    • At the end of August, 23,282 veterans were waiting for a response on their VA claims from the Columbia office – a 12 percent increase over 2011.

    • It takes nine months for a veteran to receive a response from the office on an initial claim, a 24 percent increase over the year before.

    • It can take up to 31/2-years for the VA to make a decision on an appeal.

    • And there is currently an eight-month backlog of claims at the office.

    Read more here:

  28. Steven Davis II

    @Kathryn – “Free colonoscopies will pay for themselves.”

    I’m going to run this by a friend of mine who is a gastroenterologist, I want to see what his view would be on providing free colonoscopies for anyone who steps foot in his office. He’s already complaining that Medicare doesn’t even pay him enough to cover his overhead which is why he no longer takes Medicare patients.

  29. Steven Davis II

    @bud – ” The VA has become a model for efficiency in delivering healthcare to our veterans. Costs are lower and outcomes better than any other sector of our medical delivery system.”

    Okay 2nd attempt, since the first one wasn’t approved.

    Bud, you’re saying if you have a heart problem you’d prefer to be treated at the VA over say… Providence Hospital?

  30. Steven Davis II

    @Doug – If true, can you imagine how horrible the claims situation is at the other hospitals around town? I’m surprised that there’s not a line of hearses lined up out front like taxis at the airport.

  31. bud

    Doug, what you are citing seems to be more the exception than the rule. Here’s an excerpt form Minnesota Public Radio article about the VA:

    “The Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Center just opened in its new space a few months ago.
    The 65,000 square-foot wing has a therapy pool with a floor that rises up to accommodate wheelchairs, a dining room with legless tables that lower from the ceiling and an outdoor multi-surface track where patients can practice maneuvering their wheelchairs on many different types of terrain. What perhaps is most remarkable about this facility is its cost.
    “I was amazed that they could produce that building for $21 million,” said Dr. John Drucker, Chief of Staff at the Minneapolis VA.
    Drucker said the money to build the center came from a Congressional grant and some local fundraising. The budget was fixed and it was tight, but he said patients and staff still got everything they needed for top-notch care.”

    And this rrom WIKI:
    Overall Evaluation
    “Patients routinely rank the veterans system above the alternatives, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.” In 2008, the VHA got a satisfaction rating of 85 for inpatient treatment, compared with 77 for private hospitals. In the same report the VHA outpatient care scored 3 points higher than for private hospitals.[15]
    A study that compared VHA with commercial managed care systems in their treatment of diabetes patients found that in all seven measures of quality, the VHA provided better care.[17]
    A RAND Corporation study in 2004 concluded that the VHA outperforms all other sectors of American health care in 294 measures of quality; Patients from the VHA scored significantly higher for adjusted overall quality, chronic disease care, and preventive care, but not for acute care.[13]

  32. Kathryn Fenner

    The free colonoscopies are free to patients whose doctors order them, but paid for by insurance,duh! You wouldn’t just walk in and demand one….and seriously, a colonoscopy? Who wants to do that just ’cause it’s free?

  33. Steven Davis II

    Brad – The running joke is that the combo plan is an endoscopy & colonoscopy at the same visit. If you have good insurance they do the endoscopy first.

    @Kathryn – If my doctor orders one, my insurance already pays for it. And I don’t think you can get a colonoscopy just because you want one, there are prerequisites and pre-colonoscopy activities the patient needs to have one. Otherwise the scope only gets inserted about 3 inches before it hits “blockage”.

  34. Kathryn Fenner

    Right, your insurance already pays for one, as does mine, but as in most things, plenty of people are not as fortunate as we are.

  35. Steven Davis II

    So how is this different than it is now? Those who don’t have medical insurance and need a colonoscopy get their paid by Medicare/Medicaid. It’s “free” to them. Those who pay are the taxpayers and doctors who end up eating the costs not covered.

  36. Kathryn Fenner

    Many people are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, yet do not have insurance that covers colonoscopies…or at least didn’t before Obamacare requires it.

  37. Steven Davis II

    So if they don’t have insurance or aren’t eligible for Medicare, they should get the procedures for free?

    Employers around the country are listening, they’ve maybe found a loophole which will save them millions/billions.


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