AFTER SENATOR John McCain was slammed for scurrilously attacking Ambassador Rice, as well as being proved wrong for his assertions about her by the entire intelligence community, which signed off on what she said on the Sunday shows that caused a ruckus, McCain had no choice but to tuck his tail between his legs and relent, picking Fox News Sunday to wiggle out of the losing position he’s put himself in.

He was wrong.

Susan Rice was never the source of the Obama administration’s challenges on their response to the Benghazi terrorist attack, regardless of their flatfooted reaction to the deaths of four Americans.

The lack of security and advance offense at what had been brewing not in Rice’s purview either, but none of these facts stopped McCain from leading the witch hunt against Rice.

In fact, so thoroughly has he been humiliated that he also has to find a way to walk back his declarative statement that he would do anything within his power to block Rice’s nomination for secretary of state, because he can’t win that argument either. McCain went to safe territory on the Fox News channel to try to redeem himself from his losing proposition.

“I think she deserves the ability and the opportunity to explain herself [“¦] but she’s not the problem. The problem is the president of the United States, who in a debate with Mitt Romney said that he had said that it was a terrorist attack. He hadn’t.” [Fox Nation]

Chris Wallace also played Rice’s response to McCain’s attacks, resetting the stage for John McCain in the ramp up to what’s coming, which is the nomination for Susan Rice to be secretary of state.

“I do think that some of the statements he’s said about me have been unfounded. But I look forward to have the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him.” – U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice

If McCain insists on digging in, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid should make him take to the floor and actually filibuster her nomination, not just cave, though I don’t think there’s a chance it will come to this, because Democrats have the votes and Republicans won’t join McCain to block her.

That it took Senator McCain this long to figure this out is another part of his self-defeating tantrum.

Additionally, Bill Kristol also said on Fox News Sunday that Rice will likely be nominated and confirmed, but that he thought she was actually better than Sen. John Kerry for the spot, because she at least has shown to approve of some interventionism, unlike Kerry.

Rice was part of a feminine trio that included Secretary Clinton and Samantha Power, lobbying President Obama to intervene in Libya to oust Gadhafi.

The stage is now cleared for President Obama to choose Rice, which everyone in Washington knows is his preferred pick to take up the job at the State Department after Hillary Rodham Clinton departs.