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Top Story — Obama to Rice Critics: “Go After Me,” “Outgageous” to “Besmirch” Her

THE BATTLE was joined over U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s confirmation, which occurred in President Obama’s first press conference since his reelection.

After being carved up in the press, starting on Fox News, Rice had been hung out until the question was asked today by ABC’s Jonathan Karl. Obama clearly relished the moment to finally get Rice’s back, whom he believes has been an exemplary representative of the Administration and this country, with all evidence supporting this judgment.

The fight flashed in Barack Obama’s eyes as he delivered the salvo, in one of his finest moments of pure passion, purpose and offense, not defense, of Susan Rice, which should lift the spirits of everyone working for this President to make sure his second term succeeds, beginning with the moment he begins to redraw his cabinet.

“She made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Sen. McCain and Sen. (Lindsey) Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. When they go after the U.N. ambassador apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.” – President Obama

Senator Graham, who has taken to playing a sort of mini me to John McCain, was quick to release a response:

“Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack,” he said in a statement. “We owe it to the American people and the victims of this attack to have full, fair hearings and accountability be assigned where appropriate. Given what I know now, I have no intention of promoting anyone who is up to their eyeballs in the Benghazi debacle.” [Fox News]

This comes after both McCain and Graham have called for “Watergate style” hearings in the Senate, which could freeze Obama’s movement and bottle up his policy goals before he even gets started. But the real issue is Senator John McCain playing commander in chief from the sidelines, because he was denied the position by the American people. This waning warrior revved up to put it to the uppity White House civilian who never served, with Graham happy to play plebe.

Ed Henry of Fox News Channel, continued on Benghazi, though not with journalism as his guide.

“I wanted to ask about the families of these four Americans who were killed. Sean Smith’s father Ray said he believes his son called 9-1-1 for help and they didn’t get it. I know you said you grieve for the four Americans, that it is being investigated, but the families have been waiting for more than two months. So I would like for you to address the families, if you can: On 9/11, as Commander-in-Chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives?”

The self-righteousness of this approach from a journalist, skirting a specific issue, but instead requesting the President to “address the families,” hit Obama exactly as it did me. Arrogant and assuming to suggest that the Administration wouldn’t immediately do everything it could at all levels to save Americans and keep them from harm whenever possible.

This has been the assumption on the right, dereliction of duty the obvious inference in Graham’s statement.

As for other issues, nothing was asked at the presser about entitlements.

Tax rates were discussed, with news out of the presser that they seem negotiable. The wealthy will be asked to do more, but dealing with them specifically is currently negotiable. Obama firmly believes the math on the top 2% is with him and so are the American people, including those who didn’t vote for him.

And alert the right, climate change is real, as is the pressure on Republicans to do something about immigration, with Congress and Obama’s staff already in talks on multiple levels, the President said today.

The main message, President Obama presented himself as a hero of the middle class, with any mandate he has coming from his charge to protect working people who make up the heart of this country. Once again, it was Ed Henry who provoked the response:

“I’ve got one mandate. I’ve got a mandate to help middle class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. That’s my mandate. That’s what the American people said. They said, ‘Work really hard to help us. Don’t worry about the politics of it. Don’t worry about the party interests. Don’t worry about the special interests. Just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead because we’re working really hard out here and we’re still struggling a lot of us.’ That’s my mandate.” – President Obama

However, all dimmed when compared to President Obama’s almost gallant offense of an Administration official who is highly respected for her work at the U.N., loyal, as well as beloved.

In comparison to Graham’s high pitched squeal from the bleachers, there was no comparison in class or pitch.

However, if Obama wants Rice at State, which all reporting suggests, what was difficult because of Benghazi just became a point of male ego on the Senate side.

Rice’s nomination will require a campaign, which was helped by Obama’s words today that can be used by allies to help make it happen. It will require women’s groups and everyone wanting this woman at State to get involved, provided Obama decides he wants this fight.

Dramatic day.

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20 Responses to Top Story — Obama to Rice Critics: “Go After Me,” “Outgageous” to “Besmirch” Her

  1. fangio November 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    The first issue here is the way these people talk to the President of the United States. The lack of respect is simply astonishing and it’s Obama’s fault for being such a push over for the last four years. In the past, if someone like Graham or this reporter had spoken to the president in such a way there would be repercussions down the line. As for Rice, it would be easier for her if she had some kind of record to stand behind at the U.N., but there is none. She has been practically invisable and when she does make an appearance it’s a disaster. I doubt she will ever be confirmed; he may as well start looking around.

  2. DaGoat November 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    (Obama) “For them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”

    It does raise the question of why Obama sent someone that has nothing to do with Benghazi out to five TV shows to talk about Benghazi.

    • angels81 November 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

      What question does this raise? It wouldn’t have mattered who the white house sent out because all she did was repeat what the CIA intell had put together and given to the white house, state and congress. This is just more BS being thrown at Obama by pissed off republicans. McCain is still mad about his ass kicking in 2008 and Graham and republicans trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

      Sometimes when I come to this site, I have to check to make sure I’m on a so called liberal blog because you’d never know by some of the comments.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

        What question does it raise? Well it raises the question of just how prevalent Obama Derangement Syndrome is and how successful the professional lie engine of faux not news and the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristofascist screamfest that is talk radio is in framing a ginned up issue for the main stream media.

      • DaGoat November 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

        I agree with liberals on some issues and conservatives on others. If Taylor wants this to be a strictly liberal site she should say so and I’ll quit posting. What attracted me to this site is that even though Taylor is much more liberal than I am she seems willing to look at a given issue objectively and not just reflexively spout the Democratic party line. I disagree with her more often than not but still enjoy the site.

        On Susan Rice I think my question was pretty simple – why did Obama choose her as the mouthpiece on the Benghazi incident? She’d been relatively obscure and didn’t seem to have any special knowledge to offer. If Obama just wanted someone to spout talking points there were plenty to choose from.

        • Taylor Marsh November 15, 2012 at 12:31 am #

          DaGoat – Everyone is welcome.

          Disagreements should be intellectual, but reflex attacks happen.

          This is not “a liberal blog.” I’m a liberal, but facts don’t have ideological underpinnings or at least they shouldn’t and don’t around here. Separating fact from insanity on Benghazi has absolutely nothing to do with liberalism.

          Let me also state that I depend on hearing from all sides. I know it’s tough, but I so appreciate when thoughtful conservatives weigh in, as well as moderates of no ideology at all, but are interested in politics.

          To add… I likely don’t do enough to encourage more civility in the comments between people. We need more criticism of our politicians, not less! The back & forth often gets too hot & it discourages people. The preference is for you all to police yourselves and be civil and take one another on through issues, but it doesn’t happen. We need a more robust debate here, not lazy name calling.

  3. T-Steel November 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    For all intents and purposes, Susan Rice is the lady for the job. If he believes that strongly, then he should champion an all-out assault on Senators McCain and Graham. I agree with fangio, they talking to the POTUS like he the water boy, It looks like he has jumped into the “male genitalia waving contest” with McCain and Graham and I say good for you. Sometimes you have to just fight to show how lay of the land is going to be. It may get nasty but McCain and Graham wanna play rough, then introduce them to the verbal flames.

    Personally speaking, the Benghazi situation is just failed and wrong-headed embassy policy that’s been passed on from administration to administration. Host nation always provides security? That’s cool for the US Embassy in London. Not Benghazi. Heck, why are we even setting up a semi-permanent or permanent embassy presence there anyway? The country is too unstable, Need to deal with Libya with a long-handled spoon.

  4. T-Steel November 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Heck I haven’t forgot about the attack at the US Embassy in Yemen back in September 2008. One American was killed (a Yemeni American) along with Yemeni security forces and civilians. Snipers, RPGs, and car bombs were all used. But I guess that wasn’t an issue since those six brave Yemeni security officers paid the ultimate price in defense of our embassy. Any advanced knowledge of that attack? Was it shaky? Unclear?

    Inquiring minds want to know. Short memories…

  5. jjamele November 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Quite correct, this is all about sour grapes from the Republicans, especially McCain, who grows smaller by the minute.

    Quite correct, the Republican critics of Susan Rice don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Quite correct, Susan Rise is eminently qualified for the post of Secretary of State.

    All this being said, anyone out there really believe that she’s going to be Secretary of State? We all know what happens once Obama is made aware of opposition from the right wing to ANYTHING he claims he wants to do. I’d be surprised if Rice’s name is even put forward for confirmation.

    Congratulations, Senator Kerry. You are the latest recipient of right-wing pressure and a limp White House which will never, ever put up a fight for ANYONE not named Barack Obama.

    • fangio November 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

      Quite wrong, the Republican critics of Susan Rice do have a leg to stand on.

      Quite wrong, Susan Rice is not eminently qualified to be Secretary of State.

      Congratulations, Senator Kerry. You are getting just what you deserve for being a good for nothing blueblood the last 20 years.

  6. tonyb39 November 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    “Sometimes when I come to this site, I have to check to make sure I’m on a so called liberal blog because you’d never know by some of the comments.”

    Angels,
    Wow, this from you is insulting! I don’t comment much just read all the great comments here but you sound JUST LIKE THE GWB HACKS!!!

    • jjamele November 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      I’m not sure what angels meant by that line, but here’s the way it sounded to me: “I thought this was a liberal site. But then I see criticism of Obama here- so it can’t really be a liberal site, because no liberal site would post criticism of Obama.”

      I don’t see any other way to translate it- but yeah, it sure does sound like the “President Uber Alles” crap we saw on conservative sites during GW Bush’s rein of terror.

      • angels81 November 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

        Well, you were 1/2 right. I just found it interesting that the critics were right out the shoot on this issue. I guess I was just to dim to realize that even when the President did the right thing, called out McCain and others for swiftboating the UN ambassador, that the comments were to attack the President instead of supporting him when he was right and McCain and the rest of the republican conspiracy nuts were trying to make all this Benghazi stuff the next watergate.

    • angels81 November 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

      You find my comment insulting? You really must be thin skinned. If I offended you, I’m sorry, but I still stand by my feelings at the time.

  7. tonyb39 November 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Angels,
    Thanks for the sorry and you have every right to stand by whatever it is you feel. I stand by what i said as well. You reminded me of the GWB era nonsense..Please, I just voted Obama/Biden again but that doesn’t mean i think their exempt from any and all critics. What you said was meant to shut people down, shame on you..

  8. angels81 November 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    It seems some people just don’t grasp the concept of sarcasm.

  9. TPAZ November 15, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    “Go After Me” – is that a variation of Bob Dole speaking of himself in the third person? Isn’t “Come After Me” a more natural expression of nondetachable anger or passion?

  10. Ramsgate November 15, 2012 at 12:56 am #

    Susan Rice is eminently qualified. Much more so than Condi was.
    Second, Optics. I hope Obama nominates her now. He must. Not to sends the wrong message to those bullies on the right. Screw McCain & Graham.

    • Taylor Marsh November 15, 2012 at 1:15 am #

      Absolutely. I’ve always thought that Kerry was a better choice for State, but now I’m rooting for Rice.

      What happens if Obama doesn’t nominate her could be big.

    • Cujo359 November 15, 2012 at 2:06 am #

      Now that he’s put the chip on his shoulder, the President needs to put Rice’s nomination forward, assuming that something more damaging isn’t unearthed. Otherwise, he really will look weak. When half the partisans in town are ready to scream “lame duck” at the earliest opportunity, it’s not good politics.

      I don’t think Rice is all that qualified, but frankly these days I’m not really impressed by most of the “Serious” foreign policy folks in DC. The only thing she’s demonstrated to me is the ability to say whatever the boss wants her to say, even if it isn’t backed up by any actual knowledge. But you can say that about most of the folks who are considered “Serious” these days.

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