The Obama team was quickly coming to realize that a Rice nomination was simply going to cost him too much political capital. THE IMPORTANCE OF PICKING YOUR FIGHTS To explain why U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice pulled out of consideration for the secretary of state post, it’s important to remember this (as FirstRead pointed out): A president only gets a finite number of fights with Congress, especially in the first year of a second term (which may be the last BIG year a president can win fights with Congress). And appointing Rice as secretary of state was going to be a fight, no doubt about it. So if you’re a White House with a big upcoming agenda (resolving the fiscal-cliff situation, passing comprehensive immigration reform, maybe tackling energy or education) and if you’re split on the top choice on the secretary of state (our reporting indicates that Rice was never the clear-cut favorite), sometimes the path of least resistance is the smart play.
17 Dec 2012