The Straits Times
Published on Dec 14, 2012

Susan Rice folds US secretary of state bid


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Ms Susan Rice on Thursday asked President Barack Obama not to pick her as his next secretary of state, after becoming a lightning rod for Republicans over the raid on the United States (US) consulate in Benghazi.

Ms Rice, currently US envoy to the United Nations (UN), is a longtime member of Mr Obama's inner circle, and had been a hot favorite to succeed Mrs Hillary Clinton as the top US diplomat in The President's second term beginning next year.

But her role as a top defender of the administration over the attack which killed the US ambassador to Libya on Sept 11, drew her into a furious row with Republicans keen to dent Mr Obama after his re-election victory.

"If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly, to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Ms Rice said in a letter to Mr Obama.