U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has emerged as the likely choice to be President Barack Obama’s national security advisor.
Shortly after Obama won last year’s election Rice was considered the favorite to become Secretary of State, but was met with stern criticism from congressional Republicans for the handling of the Benghazi consulate attack last year. Rice eventually removed herself from candidacy for the position, and John Kerry was confirmed instead.
Rice would replace current security advisor Thomas Donilon without needing to be confirmed by the Senate. The Washington Post reports that no official change will be made until the United States assumes the presidency of the U.N. Security Council in July, but said that Rice is the “far and away” favorite for the position.
Despite a bevy of attacks on her character amid the Secretary of State nomination, Rice handled herself with patient composure. While she may never be able to please Republican leaders, Rice remains highly respected among her peers in Washington.
“I think that Susan always maintains close relations with the President and his national security team, and that continues to be the case,” National Security Council spokesman Ben J. Rhodes said, according to the Washington Post. “If anything, the way she handled the Benghazi situation — and then the withdrawal — only enhanced her relations here, because she did so with grace and good humor.”
Prior to taking her position as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Rice served the Clinton administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. She also served as a foreign policy advisor to both Kerry and Obama during their presidential campaigns.
Rice declined to comment on rumors of her becoming national security advisor when asked by the Washington Post. Speaking on behalf of Rice, spokeswoman Erin Pelton said that discussing the topic could possibly undermine the integrity of talks between the U.S. and the Security Council.