In yet another sign that Republicans are willing to cave on everything their base is not, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has said that he would consider disgraced UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s nomination for Secretary of State were President Obama to tender it. Although Corker said yesterday that Rice would make a better head of the Democratic National Committee than Secretary of State, today he backtracked, stating, “I know that at some point I may play a semi-important role in who the next Secretary of State may be. Whoever the president nominates, I certainly plan to sit down and give a full hearing to, as I’ve said from Day One, regardless of who that nominee is.”
But Corker did encourage Obama not to nominate Rice, albeit tacitly. He stated, “I’m asking the president to step back away from all that’s happened and take a deep breath and to nominate the person that he really believes is the very best person to be secretary of State for our country, regardless of relationship.”
Failing to rule out Rice is a mistake that Republicans can’t afford to make. They are already losing the Benghazi issue thanks to a combination of media malfeasance, Mitt Romney’s gutless decision not to raise Benghazi in the third presidential debate, and general Republican failure to underscore the facts behind the Obama administration’s Benghazi cover-up. But when even liberal Republican Senator Susan Collins (R-MA) says she’s bothered by Rice’s behavior in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, it isn’t too much to task that Republicans stand tall.