SETTING UP a potential confrontational confirmation, if President Obama moves ahead to nominate Susan Rice to follow Secretary Clinton, Senator McCain will join the SFRC after the New Year.

From Josh Rogin:

McCain told The Cable he will join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and also remain on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) in an interview on the sidelines of the 2012 IISS Manama Security Dialogue.

McCain, who finishes his six-year term as ranking Republican on the SASC this year, will not challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for the leadership post on the SFRC, but his presence will be felt, especially during the confirmation hearings, which could be especially contentious this time around if Rice is chosen as the nominee. Those nomination hearings would be chaired by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) — that is, unless Kerry gets the nod himself.