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Norton Speaks Out on Susan Rice


Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the following statement on the decision of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to withdraw her name from consideration for Secretary of State.

"Susan Rice has vindicated her reputation as a skillful diplomat and a strong woman by withdrawing from consideration as Secretary of State. However, it is both heartbreaking and maddening for the rest of us, led, I am sure, by the President. Faced with Republicans who are trying to push him over the cliff, the President kept his leverage, but sacrificed a potential Secretary of State who would have commanded attention and respect for his foreign policy like no one else in his administration. Her relationship with President Obama and her knowledge of international politics and problems would have given her -- and the President -- a distinctive advantage when she spoke for our country. Their relationship would have left no doubt that when she spoke, everybody should listen -- and closely.

Republicans will now have to answer to the many motives being assigned to them for opposing Ambassador Rice for relying on intelligence provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence when she appeared on news programs. I will not rehash them, but if Senator John Kerry becomes Secretary of State, and Republican Senator Scott Brown tries to win in a special election what he did not win in November, one such motive will become more transparent. In the meantime, Republicans, who learned in November that they were anchored in a bygone era that America has left behind, should also prepare themselves for a new generation of federal officials, even diplomats, cut from today's mold and synchronized with today's world. Susan Rice is brilliantly leading the way, with many more years to serve as Secretary of State, or in any post she would like."

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