Susan Rice, the current US ambassador to the United Nations will be the next national security advisor. She replaces the resigning Tom Donilon. Unlike the position she was up for before, to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Rice is an appointee not subject to confirmation hearings or a vote. The job is hers.
Which must cause some politics junkies a bit of a head scratch–why would Obama appoint a woman synonymous with the excruciating embarrassment and failure in Benghazi? Why would this supposedly canny Chicago smashmouth pol give his critics even more ammunition to lob at him with this controversial choice–why, it’s as if a gaggle of Fox News producers made this decision as optimal for rousing their perpetually enraged base–as politics go, surely a colossal fuck up of epic proportions.
Except that it’s the exact opposite.
Above and beyond the fact that Ms. Rice is capable, her involvement in the Benghazi blame game back and forth between the CIA and State was approximately zero. But that her exoneration isn’t the issue here, the issue is, why hand your rabid opposition another cudgel to club you with? The answer is obvious unless you are presently not just knee deep in the hermentically-sealed from reality hothouse that is Republican entertainment media–anything that drives the red-eyed whackaloons of the GOP’s unhinged base ever dottier is a win for Obama. Which is why the Rice pick was in fact a no-brainer.
Every time a relatively disinterested third party gets their 30th Breitbart.com spam of the day on Facebook from the “family nutjob” or has to sit through an earful at coffeeshop, gym, laundromat, school, water cooler from one of these “Energizer Bunny Birchers”, they think “gotta keep these crazies from power”. If your choice is between innocuous and psychotic, which do you pick?
I suspect that Obama knows this as well as anyone else does, especially political analysts in Indiana, Missouri, Delaware, North Dakota, Colorado and Nevada who saw certain Republican gains in senate races go down the drain because they nominated a Frother. Keeping the Tea Party rhetoric at full tilt boogie is absolutely in the Democratic Party’s best interests and by throwing out a lightning rod to attract more of it, they win big.
And not to put too fine a point on it, but the last female named Rice that became NSA presided over the worst security lapse in American history and was punished by promotion to Secretary of State–by a Republican president and Congress. You can’t write a better talking point than that one.
Reactionaries react and don’t think which is why they’re termed as such. And violent reactions to seemingly nothing sare the shit out of the supposed “middle”. Obama gets the win on this one.