President Obama gets high marks for loyalty to his closest political friends and allies, but his nomination of Susan Rice as National Security Adviser shows that his concern for the realistic security issues threatening the United States remains questionable.
Rice was the frontrunner to replace Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State until her credibility was destroyed over mishandling the truth of the terrorist murders of four Americans in Benghazi. She simply became radioactive and clearly would never pass Senate confirmation. The President solved that now by putting her into a job that does not require a nod from Capitol Hill.
President Obama clearly has faith in Rice’s judgment, but virtually no one else in Washington shares his assessment. After the fiasco of the post-Benghazi messaging, few people have confidence in Rice’s trustworthiness. Critics in Congress were crystal clear that her nomination would be dead on arrival in the Senate—not because of deficiencies in intellect or experience but because of a lack of credibility. Now she will be the lead for all security policy, not merely our foreign policy. This could easily turn from failure to disaster.
Rice’s appointment is a classic example of the President doubling down on policies that have proven to be failures. Adding her to the already anemic national security policy team of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry just makes the group weaker. This will be the weakest national security team the nation has ever had.
“Leading from behind,” the notion that al-Qaeda is defeated, and declaring that the “tide of war is receding” have been shown to be ludicrously out of touch with reality. The Obama Doctrine, of which Rice is a huge proponent, has lessened the world’s confidence in America and gutted our influence abroad.
Adding to the damage is the concurrent nomination of Samantha Power to backfill Rice at the United Nations. She has been a vocal adversary of U.S. support to our ally Israel and even speculated in a public address that America would probably need to invade Israel someday to “rescue” the Palestinians. She is a vocal proponent internationalizing any crises and ceding sovereign power to international organizations, which she sees as more legitimate than U.S. leadership.
The President is determined to pull the window shade down on the broken, static train of his security policies and pronounce, “It is moving, and all is well.” The very unrealistic speech he gave at the National Defense University in which he declared the war on terrorism to be over—simply because we didn’t want to be involved any longer—is a perfect example of the President ignoring reality and accepting obvious failure. This appointment is actually completely consistent. Rice is a failed appointee to oversee a failed policy.
As the world waits for America to play a constructive role, Obama has decided to pile on to his previous missteps. Rice’s appointment will seriously add to our growing national malaise.