Bloomberg News is reporting that UN Ambassador Susan Rice is the favorite to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she steps down as expected sometime in January.
Six current or former White House officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said Rice remains close to President Barack Obama and shares many of his views on foreign policy. They emphasized that the president hasn't made a final decision, and Clinton may remain in her post for some months into Obama's second term.
Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and other officials said Obama's first move will be choosing a successor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. He also may need to find successors to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the officials said.
Rice is thought to be the president's preferred choice over two other strong candidates, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry of Massachusetts and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, according to the current and former administration officials.
Rice, who also worked on the presidential campaigns of Kerry and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, is known for her strong personality and passionate defense of Obama's foreign policy at Security Council and inter-agency meetings.
Will her Benghazi remarks on "militants" taking over demonstrations against the anti-Muslim film disqualify her? Despite indications that some intelligence mistakenly pointed that way, there was plenty of other intel available to policy makers at the time that got it right.
Why Rice believed the incorrect narrative of the attack is something she is going to have to explain if she's nominated.