In the wake of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's withdrawal from the running for Hillary Clinton’s job, Rice's allies have been quick to chastise Senate Republicans who politicized her appointment, perhaps with the hope of giving Scott Brown a chance at Rice runner-up John Kerry’s Senate seat. Madeleine Albright, a lifetime friend, told the Huffington Post that her treatment was “appalling.” President Obama said that he deeply regrets the unfair and misleading (Get it?) attacks on Rice. But not Rice. Although she’s known for her bluntness and her bird-flipping, it’s hard to imagine a more dignified and graceful exit from this brouhaha than her Washington Post op-ed today.
It took Republicans to task, not for being total dicks, but for being a total distraction, thereby reinforcing her commitment to public service. “I’ve devoted my life to serving the United States and trying to mend our imperfect world,” she wrote. “That’s where I want to focus my efforts, not on defending myself against baseless political attacks.” She added that she has and will continue to do that in the U.N., because she has a great job. (No whining.) Every line, down to its headline — “Why I made the right call” — actively prevents being cast as a victim. By stressing her service, and not the position, she takes ambition out of it.
It's undeniably the high road, but according to the Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta, it’s also the norm. “The woman who would succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state has revealed she's gotten just a small taste of what it actually has been like to be Hillary Clinton over the years,” she wrote. Forty-eight to Clinton’s 65, Rice should dig in her heels for a few more decades of attacks on her temperament (like the unnamed White House aides who tell the Times she's not friendly or chatty enough) and conservative conspiracies. Franke-Ruta writes:
“Hillary Clinton went through 15 years of this stuff before becoming, under Obama, the woman everyone loves, a woman whom Chris Cillizza just dubbed "the new Teflon Clinton." It was only a few years ago she was "likable enough," according to Obama -- a woman whose "vocal range" revealed her to be "the stereotypical bitch," as Glenn Beck put it.”
Our positive reaction to Rice stepping down is already reminiscent of the Hillary Clinton paradox Ann Friedman wrote about this week: “To succeed, she needs to be liked, but to be liked, she needs to temper her success.” Franke-Ruta reports that Clinton and Rice are confabbing today, presumably to gloat about ruling the world in 2016, talk hair strategy, throw darts at a picture of John McCain's face, and do other unlikable things in private.
Most Viewed Stories
I Tried Hillary Clinton’s Diet and Now I Sympathize With Her
Blake Lively Reportedly Just Gave Birth, and You’ll Never Guess Who’s Running to the Hospital
Brad Pitt Fights Back Against Angelina Jolie and Her Plot to ‘Destroy’ Him
Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
Angelina Jolie Got Everything She Wanted in Temporary Divorce Deal With Brad Pitt
What It’s Like to Be a Female Reporter Covering Donald Trump
The Best Part of Being a Royal Is Getting to Pet Bunnies
The Mysterious Deaths of Two Sisters in a Luxury Hotel
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Megyn Kelly Roasts Trump’s Campaign Manager for Claiming He Doesn’t Make Sexist Comments
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesThe Novelist Disguised As a Housewife
Shirley Jackson wrote 17 books while raising four children — and she couldn't have had a successful career without them.Ava DuVernay on Hollywood Racism, Modern-Day Slavery, and Why She’s Still an Optimist
The director, whose new documentary The 13th chronicles America’s history of racial subjugation, talks to Rebecca Traister about Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the modern criminal-justice system.What No One Tells Couples Trying to Conceive
It helps to be rich.The Hidden Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
A segregated unit of mathematicians born of desperation during World War II became the secret to NASA’s success.Slut-Shaming Squids Are Everywhere
The “Bermuda Square” comic strip is back.Santigold’s New Video Is the Result of a Spontaneous Run-in With Kara Walker
The collaboration that dreams are made of.Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield Spotted Together Again, Love Might Be Real
They could be back together ahh!Teen, Forced to Go on Vacation With Her Family, Calls 911
The logical decision.Report: Hearst Fired Seventeen EIC Michelle Tan During Her Maternity Leave
Tan had been at the magazine for about two years.Good Morning America Host Amy Robach Apologizes for Saying ‘Colored People’ on Air
She quickly apologized.
That’s one way to do it.Don’t Mess This Up, Mischa Barton
Marissa Cooper is poised for a comeback ... maybe.California Votes to Remove Time Limit on Prosecuting Rape Cases
In light of the Bill Cosby case.Beyoncé’s Behind-the-Scenes Lemonade Photos Belong in a Museum
She had the "Boycott Beyoncé" sign already in formation on set.The Rise of the Male Celebrity Full-Frontal
An ex-publicist explains.Gabby Douglas Will Be a Miss America Judge
The gold-medal gymnast will help choose the 2017 pageant winner.Camille Becerra’s Photo Diary of Rockaway Beach
An ideal trip to add and cross off your summer bucket list.Sorry Nerds, Ian McKellen Won’t Officiate Your Expensive Lord of the Rings–Themed Wedding
Not even for $1.5 million.Miles Teller Is Still Upset About Being Called a Dick
He wants to set the record straight.Why Parents Shouldn’t Talk About Weight With Their Teens
New guidelines seek to banish weight talk.