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Last Updated: 19 Jun 20:28 PM IST
9 November 2012
Press Trust of India
WASHINGTON, 9 NOV: Ms Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, is emerging as the frontrunner to replace secretary of state Hillary Clinton who is expected demit office early next year. Senator John Kerry, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee and national security advisor Tom Donilon are also in line to succeed Mrs Clinton.
While all the three are "President's men", Ms Rice, 47, is said to be his most favourite. Ms Rice enjoys the status of a Cabinet minister. Ms Rice will be the second African-American woman to hold the position ~ the first being Ms Condoleeza Rice under George W. Bush.
The name of Mr Bill Burns, the deputy secretary of state, is also doing the rounds in some circle. Republican Senators have been very critical of Ms Rice, after her comments on Libya that the attack on the US Consulate Benghazi was a result of mob violence agitated against an anti-Islam movie. However, the Obama Administration determined that this was a terrorist attack.
“Everybody knows that Susan Rice is a possibility, but would have some difficulties in confirmation, given the controversy over what happened in Libya. It's anybodys guess. The decisions of a single person are always very difficult to predict,” professor Daniel Serwer at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, told foreign journalists.
Top Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has publicly said that Ms Rice's confirmation would be “virtually impossible”. Senators McCain, Graham), Kelly Ayotte, and Ron Johnson have accused Ms Rice of jumping the gun and disseminating false information about the attack.
As a result of strong opposition to her among Republican Senators, experts say Obama might have to do a lot of negotiations and back room maneuvering have his favorite Rice's nomination get it confirmed by the Senate.
Mr Kerry, another confidant of Mr Obama might have a smooth Senate confirmation but the slender majority of the Democratic party might make go against this Massachusetts Senator. Mr Kerry has been Obama administration's problem solver on several key foreign policy issues, especially when it comes to Afghanistan and Pakistan.