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Top Links: Everything you always wanted to know about the failed Susan Rice nomination (but were afraid to ask)

The latest in our "Everything you always wanted to know ..." series. Today, we explore why, and how the Susan Rice candidacy for secretary of state failed.
UN Ambassador Susan Rice will meet today with the President at about 3:30 p.m. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
UN Ambassador Susan Rice will meet today with the President at about 3:30 p.m.

The latest in our "Everything you always wanted to know ..." series. Today, we explore why, and how the Susan Rice candidacy for secretary of state failed. That and more of the stories we’ll be discussing at 4 p.m.

  • Brian Williams’ exclusive interview with Rice about why she’s dropping out. “ I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t mislead, I didn’t misrepresent, I did the best with the information that the United States government had at the time.”(Rock Center)
  • Why didn’t President Obama fight for her nomination? “A president only gets a finite number of fights with Congress, especially in the first year of a second term (which may be the last BIG year a president can win fights with Congress). And appointing Rice as secretary of state was going to be a fight, no doubt about it.” (First Read)
  • The Atlantic Wire has a good run down of how this Republican witch hunt took Benghazi, intelligence and talking points and turned a snowball into an avalanche.(The Atlantic Wire)
  • “BTW, it was Susan Collins, not John McCain, who ultimately sank Susan Rice.” (Blake Hounshell)
  • “It’s a big victory for Republicans,” said one GOP aide. “We’re not done asking questions, but someone has been held accountable.” (Buzzfeed Politics)
  • Still, Republican lapdogs like Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah won’t stop barking about Benghazi. Or, in the words of Bloomberg’s Josh Barro, he’s “butthurt” about it. (Josh Barro)
  • Ditto, Rep. Steve King of Iowa. “It’s a lot bigger than Watergate, and if you link Watergate and Iran-Contra together and multiply it times maybe 10 or so, you’re going to get in the zone where Benghazi is.” Riiiight. (The Washington Times)
  • Republicans’ shameful politicization of the failed U.N. treaty on disabilities also may have been a sign. “When you see there is enough of the Republican party that is willing to stick a knife in Bob Dole in order to stick a knife in the United Nations, you had to take a really cold look at Ambassador Rice’s chances.” (Eli Lake)
  • “The swiftboating of Susan Rice has cleared the way for … John Kerry.” (Jeffrey Goldberg)
  • The administration believed it had the votes. The problem? “Left unaddressed, the controversy over Rice's appearance on the Sunday shows had metastasized beyond control.” (Huffington Post)
  • Her chances definitely seemed to dim as forces on the Left—yes, the Left—discovered she had investments that would benefit upon the passage of the controversial Keystone Pipeline. (First Read)
  • Why would that hurt her nomination? “As secretary of state, Rice would have to oversee the review of that project, the Keystone XL pipeline.” (Huffington Post)
  • In fact, the Left had quite a few arguments to pick with Ambassador Rice: “The liberal case against her being secretary of state” (The Guardian)
  • But it wasn’t just the Left. Human rights organizations and U.N. diplomats opened up, off the record, to The New York Times about her support for Rwanda’s leader—who allegedly supports rebels accused of committing atrocities in the Congo. “Aides to Ms. Rice acknowledge that she is close to Mr. Kagame and that Mr. Kagame’s government was her client when she worked at Intellibridge, a strategic analysis firm in Washington.” (The New York Times)
  • And then there is the personality issue “about whether she is temperamentally suited for the job.” (National Journal)
  • “Mr. Obama rarely lets his annoyance with foreign leaders show in public; Ms. Rice rarely hides hers...That could have been a problem in the State Department, where many foreign officers found Ms. Rice’s approach unnecessarily contentious. They said her blunt style might be a good quality for a presidential alter-ego, but not for the nation’s top diplomat.” (The New York Times)
  • If anything, Washington has a long history of rejecting nominees over personality issues. And part of the problem may have been Rice’s reluctance to follow the path of others who “relentlessly courted journalists with flattery and gossip.”(Lloyd Grove)
  • And in other news …
  • The #FireBoehner campaign is losing steam: one of the four Republicans purged from his committee assignment for bucking leadership—which kicked off #FireBoehner—is ready to move on. (National Review)
  • And the next time you visit the Smithsonian Castle in D.C., remember: Slaves built that. (The Washington Post)
  • We’re sending troops to Turkey to defend against Syrian missile attack. (Associated Pres)
  • And good news, Colorado and Washington pot smokers: President Obama tells Barbara Walters he doesn’t want to go after your new right to pack one. (ABC News)