Susan Rice, a Loyal Obama Soldier, Wins Jewish Plaudits
The very quality that helped get Susan Rice in hot water with some in Washington is what pro-Israel groups have come to appreciate — she is a vigorous and reliable defender of the Obama administration’s foreign policies.
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who is widely seen as a leading candidate to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, has garnered plaudits from Jewish communal leaders over her defenses of Israel at the world body.
“She has proven herself as an ardent defender of major Israeli positions in an unfriendly forum,” said Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director. “And I’m more comfortable with the person I know than the person I don’t know. She is close to the president and that’s important in that position if you have someone you can relate to and understands us.”
If Obama nominates Rice, however, she would likely face opposition from Senate Republicans.
She has been under fire from Republicans since September, when she blitzed Sunday talk shows with what turned out to be misleading information prepared by intelligence agencies suggesting that a deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya began with a spontaneous protest. Media reports have suggested that Rice had been eager to go on the talk show circuit to defend the administration, which was facing strong criticism from Republicans over its handling of the attack and its public explanations of what happened.