Anyone who thinks that the "caustic reaction" from GOP senators on their meeting with Susan Rice yesterday gives Democrats any pause on a Rice nomination for Secretary of State, should think again, a Democratic Senate aide tells First Read.
Said the aide: "People are happy to fight for her. This is getting people's back up. The general sense of the mood is this is ridiculous. She's obviously qualified."
"The aide also questioned whether Republicans besides McCain, Graham, and Ayotte would think this is a 'smart fight to pick' given Rice's qualifications and that this would mean a 'high-profile fight with a qualified African-American woman.' As to the threat of holds from Ayotte and Graham, the aide said that if Rice is nominated and presents well at her confirmation hearing, there's a 'good chance cooler heads prevail' and there would be more than enough votes to confirm her. That would make Ayotte and Graham's holds 'moot' once it goes to a cloture vote, the aide said, because "either we have the votes or we don't.'"