Mitchell Reports | December 10, 2012
>>> president obama has not yet made his decision about his choice to replace hillary clinton leaving suszan rice and john kerry both dangling in the wind. for rice this ahas opened the door for critics to pile on with no bhous defense since she is still officially not a nominee. michael hamlin, director of research for the foreign policy -- michael , i know you worked with susan, and was her spirit and what can her defenders do since she is not officially a nominee? it's awfully hard to -- for her to mount a defense.
>> hi, andrea . those of us who are also admirers of john kerry have a complex position, but i think they're goet both amazing american patriots and have done a great deal of good for the country. either one would be excellent. i guess the specific thing i would contribute today on this topic is to object to the argument that was made in the "new york times" op ed page this morning by an activist who suggested that susan rice has been too friendly to various african strongmen, and the op ed did not resonate very well with me at first, but i went in and did some more research to go through the les of the people that this author listed as people that rice had supported too much, and they happen to have run five of the dozen or 15 best countries in africa over the last decade in terms of their economic performance, and their internal stability. it doesn't mean that everything is perfect, obviously, and i'm sure ambassador rice wouldn't suggest that everything is perfect in countries like uganda, and rwanda and ethiopia and south africa , but nonetheless, there's been progress in all these places, and we sometimes had to work with people who weren't perfect, but this author made it sound as if she was somehow guilty by association with anything they did wrong, and somehow had picked the wrong people to try to work with. i thought it was an absurd argument, and it sort of contributes to the same tone we've been hearing the last few weeks.
>> well, there have been all these things coming out that people have been lobbing her way, and does this need to be resolved one way or the other? the president now we're told might even wait several more weeks before making decisions, not clear whether that's going to take place, but meanwhile, you have john kerry , who is going to be holding hearings on benghazi . hillary clinton is going to be testifying when that report comes out. we expect it by next week at the latest. that is the investigative panel, which will be turned over to the senate and house foreign affairs and foreign relations committees. he has a role to play as well, as susan rice does at the u.n.
>> you know, my expectation, andrea , is that further scrutiny on benghazi will obviously show that the united states government did not make its best set of decisions on protecting the consulate in benghazi , but that ambassador rice had very little to do with those decisions, and i think what role she played in this controversy is already well known and has to do with one particular weekend in september. people have already formed their opinions on that. obviously, she didn't pick every word perfectly in those television appearance on sunday, september 16th , but i thought the gist of her messages was generally about right, but in any event, not malicious, and not mandacious, but the benghazi issue won't affect her in a big way, i don't think. that is to say, it's not going to affect her any more than it already has, based on this upcoming hearing. a couple more weeks of delay, you know, it may be just as well. it may allow passions to sort of calm on all sides. it may allow for the president to think through what he is going to do with cia director , with national security advisor , if any changes coming there, and maybe by presenting a whole team, including a new defense secretary nominee at the same time. some of the attention from this back and forth in a more partisan sense can be deflected in a more positive direction.
>> thank you very much. michael , thanks for giving us real perspective on that op ed from the "new york times". appreciate that vemp.
>> thank you, andrea .