Who Is Susan Rice?

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In the ongoing battle over what led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have focused the blame on Susan Rice. Rice, currently the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, is rumored to be a candidate for the next Secretary of State.

Both McCain and Graham have pledged that they will block this nomination in light of her subsequent explanation of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Senator Graham expressed his disapproval yesterday during a press conference: "This is about the role she played around four dead Americans when it seems to be that the story coming out of the administration — and she’s the point person — is so disconnected to reality I don’t trust her. And the reason I don’t trust her is because I think she knew better and if she didn’t know better, she shouldn’t be the voice of America."

The harsh criticisms issued by the senators was met with an equally harsh rebuke from President Obama at his own press conference. He said: "If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me."  He continued to describe their attack on Rice's character as "outrageous."


Helping us answer the question 'who is Susan Rice?' is her friend and former Assistant Secretary of State of African Affairs as well as current professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Jendayi Frazer.

"Obviously the issue of Benghazi is a serious one, it does require investigation, but to try to put it on Susan Rice's shoulders, I think is a bit of politics in Washington," Frazer says. "It's not necessary to disparage her character."

Frazer believes that it is impossible to blame Susan Rice for something that the administration was clearly behind as well. "When you are asked by the White House to go on Sunday morning talk shows, you can be sure that they've provided you with talking points, and very clear positions of the administration," Frazer says. "No senior official gets out there ad-libbing."