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For example, when asked to comment on “complications” caused by the WikiLeaks disclosures detailing alleged U.S. spying on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Rice claimed that she wasn’t aware of what “complications” were discussed and suggested to reporters that they ask Hillary herself. Is Rice truly out of the loop even on the handling of the sensitivities of the United States’ relationship with Ban Ki-moon following the embarrassing disclosures, or is she perfectly happy to leave Hillary Clinton alone twisting in the wind?
In another development, Rice, who is presiding as the president of the UN Security Council this month, announced to reporters that Vice President Joe Biden would be chairing a high-level Security Council event on Iraq on December 15th. That seems a bit odd considering that high level foreign policy discussions involving Iraq should be part of Hillary Clinton’s portfolio as Secretary of State.
Rice also responded in the affirmative to my question whether the Obama administration supports Japan as well as India in their quest to occupy new permanent seats on the UN Security Council, if reforms are approved to expand the size of the Council. That is interesting in light of the fact that, in one of the cables released by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton allegedly described both India and Japan as “self-appointed front-runners” for any new permanent Security Council seats. She also allegedly directed U.S. diplomats to collect minute details about their counterparts from the “self-appointed front-runners” who were stationed at UN headquarters. So while Rice is talking up Japan to join India as new permanent members of the Security Council, Hillary was supposedly investigating their diplomats.
One has to wonder whether Hillary Clinton is being marginalized in addition to being saddled with the burden of explaining away the embarrassing leaked State Department documents. Is Rice eyeing her job?
Recall that during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Susan Rice was a key Obama foreign policy advisor. She was part of the campaign team that criticized Hillary’s lack of any substantive foreign policy experience. Rice, on the other hand, is a Rhodes scholar who earned a doctorate in international relations at Oxford University, joined President Clinton’s National Security Council staff in 1993, and served in a senior capacity as an assistant secretary of state.
Even while serving in the Obama administration representing the United States at the United Nations, Rice shuttles between New York and Washington. She considers Washington as her home and has occupied an office at Hillary Clinton’s State Department. She has also been a member of the National Security Council Principals Committee.
The Clintons are famous for watching their backs and being political survivors. Only this time, Hillary may be facing her Waterloo.
Joseph Klein is the author of a new book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.
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