It's always a shame when a smear campaign works. Today, Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for Secretary of State, and President Obama issued a statement acknowledging that he's accepted her decision.
"For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America's interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel's security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people.
"I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country."
In a letter to the president, Rice explained, "If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly -- to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities... That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country."
Remember, the Republican offensive -- led by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, and Kelly Ayotte -- was based on literally nothing. There was no evidence of wrongdoing, no evidence of incompetence, and no evidence of professional misjudgments. Rice appeared on some Sunday shows, shared the collective judgment of the intelligence community about an attack that had transpired five days prior, and some of those preliminary details were mistaken -- not because she was irresponsible with the facts, but because the initial information was incomplete.
For that, Republicans decided to tear her down, basically because they could and because they felt like it. Her GOP detractors treated Rice as a partisan pawn to be eliminated, in the hopes of embarrassing the White House. The real embarrassment is the baseless smear campaign that's unfolded over the last month -- and the fact that it ultimately worked as planned.