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Eli Lake

Why Susan Rice, Not Hillary Clinton, Took the Fall for Benghazi

The woman who became secretary of state didn't come out looking very prepared.
Rice in 2012.

Rice in 2012.

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Benghazi day, let's spare a few thoughts for President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice. Yes, the headlines all say the House Select Committee on Benghazi couldn't find any new dirt on Hillary Clinton. But the woman who almost replaced her as secretary of state did not come out looking very prepared.

Back in September 2012, Rice was ambassador to the United Nations and was President Barack Obama's first choice to replace Clinton as secretary of state. But her nomination was scuttled after she appeared on the Sunday news shows to discuss that month's attacks on a U.S. special mission and CIA annex in Benghazi. Rice stuck to the talking points she had been given and said the attack evolved out of a protest against an offensive internet video.