There is one name that is taking over the conversation about who Biden will choose as his VP….that name is Susan Rice.
Susan Rice is suddenly the topic of a lot of speculation in Joe Biden’s running mate sweepstakes. The 55-year-old worked with Biden in the Obama administration as national security adviser and as ambassador to the UN, but she was also was embroiled in the controversy over the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Coverage:
- Unorthodox: Politico puts her near the top of the shortlist in a lengthy story. It would be an “unorthodox” pick given that she has never run for public office and nearly all of her credentials revolve around foreign policy. Her powerful edge is that Biden has worked closely with her and knows her well; it also doesn’t hurt that she isn’t seen as a VP who would be eyeing a presidential run, as is the perception with Sen. Kamala Harris.
- Simpatico: The New York Times also is out with a story, noting she was a Rhodes scholar at 21 and an assistant secretary of state at 32. “While she and Mr. Biden have had policy disagreements over the years, they share a deeply held view of the importance of diplomacy and international institutions, a concern for promoting democracy and human rights and a common pride in Obama-era achievements that they helped shape, like the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal,” writes Alexander Burns. Her foreign policy chops would allow Biden to focus on the national crises of the pandemic and the economy.
- Controversies: Rice’s surge up the list of potential running mates is giving some Democrats pause because she is such a lightning rod for critics on the right, reports the Daily Beast. Choosing her might “reinvigorate” the Trump campaign in some respects. One Democratic aide sums up: She “is extremely accomplished and experienced and would obviously help a President Biden tremendously on national security, but on the political side, unfortunately, she has been the target of crazy right-wing hate for years.”
- Benghazi: Yes, wild conspiracy theories about the 2012 attack that left four Americans dead were debunked, but as the Times‘ Burns points out, “Rice ended up taking the political fall for appearing on the Sunday shows to deliver a set of flawed administration talking points describing it as an outburst of spontaneous violence rather than organized terrorism.” Expect the whole controversy to be raised anew if Rice is on the ticket.
- In favor: At Washington Monthly, Jonathan Alter makes the case for Rice, discussing all of the above issues, along with another: Rice’s son, John Rice-Cameron, is a prominent Republican. But that might actually work in Rice’s favor. “Many voters with friends and relatives who are Trump supporters may find Rice’s situation with her son human and relatable.”
- Top 6: Aaron Blake of the Washington Post has updated his list of top contenders. Here are the top six, in order: Sens. Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Tammy Duckworth; Rice; and Reps. Val Demings and Karen Bass.
My thought on this chance….NO! NO! NO!
“Susan Rice is right in the middle of the road, when you think about foreign policy hands in DC,” said John Glaser, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, in an interview with The American Conservative. “She has a lot of high level experience in foreign policy, but I’ve never been able to detect a way she stands out as a unique thinker, in that she had something to say about the way she’d prefer the U.S. to go. She says things that are plastic, packaged to be right in the center of the foreign policy consensus in D.C. That’s how I see her: run of the mill, not an extraordinary pick … If she were VP, our foreign policy would not be different than what we’ve seen the past 30 years.”
Given that Biden is campaigning on a “return to normalcy,” the foreign policy of the last 30 years isn’t necessarily something that Biden views negatively.
A Biden-Rice presidency would seek a return to the Paris climate accords, the JCPOA Iran deal negotiated during Obama’s second term, and would expand and strengthen NATO. They would likely avoid engaging in any new ground wars like Libya or Syria. Biden and Rice would be more hawkish on Russia, and if Rice’s latest op-eds are any measure, they would likely be more assertive with China as well.
Rice is a centrist….that puts her in the camp of a Neoliberal ….she will do little to prevent more war…..and that would be in the same vane as Biden.
Not a good choice in my opinion.
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