Rice’s Retreat: She’ll Be Back

December 15, 2012

Tom Olson

Observing Susan Rice‘s withdrawal from consideration for Secretary of State has been like watching air seep out of a mortally wounded balloon.  It should’ve just burst once the Benghazi fiasco popped onto the political stage with Rice flying out and clearing the way for more weighty matters.  Such action would’ve put the country and the President first while clearly demonstrating Rice’s ability to keep priorities aptly ranked.

But she didn’t.  She lingered.  She bet she could ride out the Benghazi criticism despite the distraction it would cause.  She seemed to believe if she hung in there long enough she would prevail and get The Prize: the Office of Secretary of State.  After all, Obama owed her.  When asked to regurgitate the Administration’s line about a video provoking the attack on the Benghazi consulate and doubling down on Sunday morning talk shows, she did it.

Just like a Detroit city council member thought Obama would bail them out because the vast majority of its citizens voted for him and they delivered, Rice assumed Obama would give her The Prize, if she just endured the Benghazi fallout long enough.  She never expected anyone, let alone from those on her side, the Left, to peek into her finances and discover potential conflicts of interest. Or that it would spark others to start picking at her establishment credentials to see if yet more schisms lurked in still dark corners; they did.

Rice’s problems with the truth, ethics, scruples, loyalty and “doing the right thing” didn’t start with Benghazi.  It was only the latest in a string of difficulties extending far into her past.  One example was shown when she worried about a word, instead of doing the right thing.   She didn’t learn from that mistake and more recently backed a murderous dictator and the group known as M23.  Tying into the aspect of character was her unflinchingly breaking the rules of professional etiquette by reportedly flipping off a colleague at work.

What the examples above illustrate is that Rice is the proverbial “team player” as long as it serves her interests.  Rice has worked hard to finely hone all the elements needed to “fit in” with the crowd she requires to attain The Prize.  Her credentials are stellar.  Her intelligence is exceptional.  That she’s a hard worker is indisputable, even if Hillary’s remark that “Rice had done ‘a great job’ was considered underwhelming and tepid[.]”

Unlike now Senator Elizabeth Warren who relied on dubious ethnicity for advantage, Rice leveraged her skills to climb the ladder reaching toward The Prize without relying on her ethnicity.  In fact, as the pictures below show, Rice has chosen to de-emphasize her ethnicity by straightening her hair and fit in even more smoothly.

Her family’s background prepared her well to know what tools she would need to slip into the mainstream in pursuit of The Prize.  Her father was an economics professor and the second black Governor in the Federal Reserve System.  He had the distinction during WWII of serving with the Tuskegee airmen.  Her mother works at the Brookings Institute.  Both clearly were aware of the potential limitations of being black in a segregated society, especially having grown up during the years when segregation was still legal and implemented in many parts of the country.  Those experiences as well as the new ones opening up as society changed makes it clear they imparted to Rice the wisdom for getting ahead and fitting in, albeit without those qualities of character that can’t be bought.

Rice had it all; the elite background, top shelf credentials, experience in prominent positions, youth where most of her peers are described as, “old white men” and more money than most people get when they hit the lottery, compliments of her husband.  But what Rice lacks are the things money can’t buy; loyalty, honesty, integrity and class.  She lost The Prize this time, but she’ll be back; just watch.

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