"A quiet shove for Susan Rice" by Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post
"It is a strange world in which a person is compelled to announce her withdrawal from consideration for a position for which she has not been nominated. Strange and, more to the point, ugly. I know Susan Rice only a bit. I have no strong view about whether she would have been a good secretary of state. But I do believe that the lengthy public twisting-in-the-wind process of her non-nomination reflects badly on nearly everyone involved — on Republicans, most obviously, but also on the president."
"The case for John Kerry as secretary of state" by David Ignatius, The Washington Post
"Over the past several weeks, I have been asking foreign-policy experts and foreign diplomats whom they favor for State. With the exception of White House officials and a few diplomats, my straw poll showed Kerry as the overwhelming favorite. Partly this reflects trust in Kerry; partly it showed wariness about Rice, who’s less well-known and has made some enemies. These comments may have reflected hidden biases against Rice, but there’s also genuine confidence in Kerry."
"The Hagel Haters" by Eli Lake, The Daily Beast
"Republicans aside, Hagel’s real opposition will likely come from the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. While the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) never takes formal positions on nominees, if the group is asked by senators for its view on Hagel, it’s unlikely AIPAC will have a kind word."
"The End of Birth-Control Politics" by Bobby Jindal, The Wall Street Journal
"As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control. It's a disingenuous political argument they make."