Susan Rice fails to charm GOP senators (+video)
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice met with Republican senators Wednesday, in an effort to diffuse criticisms surrounding her possible nomination for secretary of state. But even moderate senators walked away vowing to block the nomination.
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The U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack.Skip to next paragraph
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Obama, who has strongly supported his embattled ambassador, gave a show of moral support on Wednesday, prompting applause from his Cabinet - including Clinton - during their first meeting at the White House since Obama's re-election.
"Susan Rice is extraordinary," Obama said, adding he "couldn't be prouder of the job she's done."
"They have been hard at work, we are hoping they will be finished with their work very soon," Clinton said.
Votes from moderates like Collins, who introduced Rice to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Obama nominated her to the U.N. post three years ago, would be needed to overcome procedural obstacles and win confirmation.
"I still have many questions that remain unanswered," Collins told reporters after a 75-minute meeting with Rice.
The controversy raises the unpleasant specter of Obama starting his second term with a nasty confirmation fight. He also risks looking weak if he seems to give in to criticism from the party he just defeated to win re-election.