Since the challenges confronting U.S. foreign policy in President Obama’s second term are going to be significant — with moments of decision looming on Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, the fighting in Gaza and more — it would be helpful to get this next phase started on a reasonably bipartisan footing.
The president should know that there are Republicans willing to work with him in addressing these crises and that he will be stronger overseas if he has broad support at home. But Republicans also need to do their part to show that the partisan sniping of the recent campaign season is over and that they know it is time to get serious again. One place to start would be to back off their promises to oppose the nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as secretary of state.
I say this not because I carry a particular brief for Rice. Both she and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the two most often mentioned for the position, are well-qualified for the job. Were the president to choose either of them, the Senate should vote to confirm.
But the idea that Rice should be disqualified because of statements she made on television in the days after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, strikes me as unfair…