With Susan Rice’s name being floated as a potential replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.N. Ambassador is back in the news with a vengeance. Her controversial initial comments about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya are seen as a major impediment to her prospects, with Republicans in Congress still screaming bloody murder over the level of falsehood involved in those comments.
Moreover, many appear to be chomping at the bit waiting for potential confirmation hearings as a rare opportunity to break through the firewall surrounding White House aides involved in the response to Benghazi. To that end, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that he believes Rice will have to testify about Benghazi at some point, possibly just as a form of damage control for her own prospects.
“She’s going to have to come in and testify at some point, whether it’s in a closed hearing or an open hearing,” Chambliss said. He also said he’d attempt to get Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to schedule a hearing for this purpose.
Chambliss’ comments, mild as they are, still suggest that there is a large hurdle for Rice to clear if she wants the position of Secretary of State. Republicans have been very happy, for instance, with the post-Benghazi performance of former CIA Director David Petraeus, who has reportedly been very forthcoming in closed hearings before the Senate. Rice’s stonewalling and reported willingness to repeat talking points in defiance of reality would present a much more serious problem for legislators seeking to get information from administration officials.