U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice hadn't been nominated to serve as Secretary of State, but the scrutiny she faced as President Obama's presumed top pick for the post was just as intense. And that, it seems, was the reason why Rice bowed out, as first reported by NBC. In an opinion published in this morning's Washington Post, Rice writes:
As it became clear that my potential nomination would spark an enduring partisan battle, I concluded that it would be wrong to allow this debate to continue distracting from urgent national priorities — creating jobs, growing our economy, addressing our deficit, reforming our immigration system and protecting our national security. These are the issues that deserve our focus, not a controversy about me.
Many have expressed dismay that Rice's candidacy was undermined, they say, by a coordinated attack designed by Republicans. Yesterday, the GOP members leading the opposition to Rice's nomination reacted with short, paper statements. "I respect Ambassador Rice's decision. President Obama has many talented people to choose from to serve as our next Secretary of State," wrote Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Senator John McCain's (R-Ariz.) office issued a statement that read, in part, McCain "will continue to seek all the facts about what happened before, during and after the attack on our consulate in Benghazi that killed four brave Americans."
What do you think? Should the President have rejected Rice's withdrawal? Was her candidacy doomed? Will Republicans rejoice? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and on the blog - and be sure to catch our panel's take when Alex returns to the NOW desk at noon ET on msnbc.