Last fall Republicans launched a series of scathing attacks on Susan Rice as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations became the primary target in an attempt to smear the Obama administration in the wake of Benghazi. They accused her of purposely misleading the country on the nature of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during her appearances on the Sunday news shows. At times, the attacks turned personal.
Arizona Senator John McCain accused her of "not being very bright." New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte said Rice showed "incompetence" or was "blatantly misleading the American people." South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham claimed she was "so disconnected to reality, I don't trust her."
As supportive as the president remained of her throughout the process, the attacks eventually led Rice to withdraw her name from consideration for Secretary of State. And Republicans, still not satisfied, continued to tarnish her name.
But this week, she's been vindicated. The 94-pages of emails released by the White House show that Rice had nothing to do with crafting the talking points she read on September 16.
As the Washington Post's analysis of the emails found:
"Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who did not directly participate in the e-mail exchanges, appeared on a series of Sunday shows two days after the Petraeus briefing. ....White House officials have argued that Rice was using talking points that reflected the administration consensus at that time, and the e-mails appear to support that contention.The talking points, which were edited a dozen times between Sept. 14 and 15, did not reach Rice, whose office made several pleas for them to be sent as quickly as possible, until after 3 p.m. the day before she appeared on the shows."
So now that she's been cleared, where's the apology?
"The GOP smear campaign against Ambassador Rice was vicious, personal, and wrong," said Rev. Al Sharpton on PoliticsNation on Thursday. "That's why she deserves an apology, but I won't hold my breath."
She may still have the last laugh. New reports indicate that Rice is expected to be named to the role of National Security Adviser, a post that will bring her into the Obama cabinet--without sending her to the Senate for confirmation.