Weekend open thread: Kerry to Secretary of State edition

Catching up on news from this week, UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of state in President Barack Obama’s cabinet. Republicans had been hounding her for weeks over public comments she made soon after the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

CNN reported yesterday that as expected, Obama will now name Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. I had concerns about Rice in that job because of her financial interest in seeing the Keystone XL oil pipeline completed. But it was phenomenally stupid for Obama administration officials to leak that Kerry was plan B for secretary of state. That gave Senate Republicans every incentive to throw a temper tantrum over Rice. A special election in Massachusetts means just-defeated Scott Brown has a chance to come back to the Senate. Surprise, surprise: Republicans are going to confirm Kerry with no problems.

Although Obama hasn’t caved yet on letting some of the Bush tax cuts expire, the president still has a bad habit of rewarding people who don’t deal with him in good faith. Senate Republicans had no problem confirming Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state in 2005, even though she had been national security adviser at the time the Bush administration failed to anticipate and prevent the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington. Obama acknowledged what he called “unfair and misleading attacks” on Susan Rice, yet he is giving Republicans a chance to narrow the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate anyway.

This is an open thread: all topics welcome.

  • I hope...

    ….no authority who publicly reports on what happened in Newtown, or why, makes a hasty erroneous statement. I wouldn’t want them to have to deal with John McCain the next time he or she is up for promotion. That goes for the media, too, which have been getting a lot of it wrong (e.g., Adam or Ryan? Did Mrs. Lanza work for the school or not)?

  • Open thread

    1. Nice editorial today in The Des Moines Register by the venerable Dick Doak on how good water quality is an important attraction for economic development.  Meantime, Branstad is spending tax dollars building fertilizer plants. Interesting juxtaposition, as the teacher would say in English class.

    2. Interesting Iowa Press this weekend featuring Brad Anderson, Sue Dvorsky and Ed Fallon.  Ed floated Frank Cownie as possible Iowa 03 candidate. Sue says the District is in play but she has to say that.

  • MA

    A lot of left wing blogs are up in arms over the fact that Obama would risk another Senate seat in order to appoint Kerry.  Dude, if you believe in your agenda it should win elections.

    Anything can happen in a special, low turnout election.  So on, so forth and what now.  The fact remains that people should believe in their agenda enough to win an election in Massachusetts.

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