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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:25 AM

Susan Rice’s Personality Disorder

Dec 12, 2012 7:45 AM EST

Brusque. Aggressive. Undiplomatic. The adjectives used to describe the ambassador aren’t kind. Lloyd Grove on Susan Rice’s polarizing temperament—and why that may matter more than Benghazi.


Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations and President Obama’s most visible candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, is being subjected to an immutable law of the Washington power grid: In the rough and tumble of political combat, personality trumps policy. Government policy, especially foreign policy, is rife with nuance and complication. But personality is easier to grasp and harder to shed.

Recent critiques of Rice’s influence on U.S. diplomacy in Rwanda, Sudan, and Eritrea over the past two decades are endlessly debatable among think-tank elites. Republican Sen. John McCain’s threat to block her (hypothetical) confirmation because she relied on faulty intelligence to mischaracterize the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya,—a warning joined by fellow GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte—seems emptier by the day. Rice, after all, is African American and female—two demographics that the Republican Party is not especially anxious to alienate further.

“It is a fact that Susan had no role in determining the security footprint in Benghazi or gathering or assessing the intelligence of what happened before, during or after,” says National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor. “She simply went on TV and gave interviews.”

But Rice’s personality—or “temperament,” in the parlance of her Beltway critics—is increasingly front and center. She is frequently described in the press with such adjectives as “brusque,” “aggressive,” and “undiplomatic in the extreme.”

-snip-

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/12/susan-rice-s-personality-disorder.html

39 replies, 3737 views

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Susan Rice’s Personality Disorder (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #1
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2012 #3
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #7
yellowcanine Dec 2012 #39
hlthe2b Dec 2012 #2
gollygee Dec 2012 #9
Texin Dec 2012 #34
monmouth3 Dec 2012 #4
BeyondGeography Dec 2012 #5
Cha Dec 2012 #32
yellerpup Dec 2012 #6
Justkd1 Dec 2012 #8
yellerpup Dec 2012 #20
Estevan Dec 2012 #10
karynnj Dec 2012 #12
Frustratedlady Dec 2012 #15
yellerpup Dec 2012 #21
karynnj Dec 2012 #10
genna Dec 2012 #23
genna Dec 2012 #13
gordianot Dec 2012 #14
pnwmom Dec 2012 #16
Silent3 Dec 2012 #19
genna Dec 2012 #24
politicaljunkie41910 Dec 2012 #17
genna Dec 2012 #25
macwriter Dec 2012 #18
genna Dec 2012 #26
genna Dec 2012 #22
JustAnotherGen Dec 2012 #27
genna Dec 2012 #30
PoliticalBiker Dec 2012 #28
cliffordu Dec 2012 #29
lunatica Dec 2012 #31
Cha Dec 2012 #33
Euphoria Dec 2012 #35
Hekate Dec 2012 #36
Azathoth Dec 2012 #37
LadyBirdJohnson Dec 2012 #38

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:34 AM

1. Sounds like a hatchet job to me....

If she is so "undiplomatic", how has she remained employed this long?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:38 AM

3. That's what it seems like to me too

I would not, for one, think that you could get very far in a diplomatic job if you weren't able to BE diplomatic. My understanding is that she has worked in and around the state department for quite some time. Didn't somebody even allude to her having been around at the time of the Kenya and Tanzania bombings in 1998? There are some very determined interests trying to make sure that she doesn't get this post and one can only wonder why.

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:58 AM

7. Exactly.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:51 PM

39. Of course it is. Any powerful Democratic woman in Washington is subject to this kind of

whispering campaign about being a bitch by Republicans. It happened to Hillary. It happened to Nancy Pelosi. It is the MO of the Republicans to tarnish Democratic women in this way. If this is so true why aren't any of them willing to go on the record? Instead they use general euphemisms such as "unqualified", "too political", etc.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:37 AM

2. Sounds like the old "men are admirably assertive, while assertive women are considered......"

Ugly hit piece, IMO

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:01 AM

9. Yes, and African-American women even more so

there are some nasty stereotypes to this effect

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:51 PM

34. Exactly!! If she were a male, she'd be characterized as firm and "pulls no punches".

Unless a woman is fanning herself or fainting from the vapors like Aunt Pittypat, she's considered a nut-cutting bitch on wheels.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:43 AM

4. She doesn't kiss their collective white a$$, therefore...well, you know..n/t

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:52 AM

5. Personality disorder?

C'mon.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:31 PM

32. That's what I was thinking..

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:55 AM

6. If Susan Rice is described as

“brusque,” “aggressive,” and “undiplomatic in the extreme,” what do they call John Bolton?

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:00 AM

8. Great answer, really shows the hypocrisy

Love how the GOP is now relegated to low level gossip from sources conveniently anonymous. Where's McCain now?!

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Response to Justkd1 (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:18 AM

20. He's probably out casting aspersions

(or is that asparagus?) based on anonymous gossip.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:14 AM

10. Bingo!

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:16 AM

12. With Bolton, there were accusations that actually suggested that he had

genuine problems in his interactions that went far beyond "abrasive".

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Response to karynnj (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:58 AM

15. Bolton would be abrasive just saying hello.

If I were Rice interacting with Bolton, it would be very difficult for me to keep my cool. He is the most disgusting person I can think of. I don't even read his opinions on anything anymore, as I know they will be so far off base, it isn't worth my time. I discounted him years ago and see from headlines that I wasn't wrong to do so.



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Response to karynnj (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:22 AM

21. I do not find that shocking at all.

He's been an ass every time I've ever seen him, and if he's an ass on TV in front of a national audience, I can't imagine what an asshat he is in private when he really lets himself go.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:14 AM

10. I know it is the title of the article, but this is a COMPLETE misuse of the words "personality disor

which leads me to not even want to read the article. The adjectives, unflattering as they are and as far from diplomacy as they are, they do not come close to a "personality disorder".

I think the Obama administration has really mismanaged this nomination. They should have worked to avoid leaks - as they have done nothing but lead to attacks on all mentioned. (In Rice's case, above and beyond the attacks that would have still happened for being a prominent spokesperson on Benghazi.) It is also possible that the problem is the DC pundits trying to influence the process to the likely candidate that they prefer.

Looking back at what was said where, I was surprised how the Washington Post was the initial story on almost every article that suggested Rice was Obama's first choice - even when his people were saying he had not yet decided. Then yesterday, they had an opinion piece that suggested what many here have said - that if Obama does NOT pick her, it will appear that he caved to the Republicans. In fact, IF he picks her because her allies in the WP ginned up the idea that she was his top choice if indeed she isn't, then he will have caved to the beltway pundits and powers that be.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:37 AM

23. Read Samatha Powers account of this inertia and institutional resistance

It rings truer than the WP account.

They've been leaking all they can so they don't have to deal with the woman of color.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:23 AM

13. Two words: Lani Guinier. The tyranny of the majority

Professor Guinier first came to public attention in 1993 when President Clinton nominated her to be the first black woman to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. She had been a civil rights attorney for more than ten years and had served in the Civil Rights Division during the Carter Administration as special assistant to then Assistant Attorney General Drew S. Days. Immediately after her name was put forward in 1993, conservatives virulently attacked Guinier’s views on democracy and voting, driving Clinton to withdraw her nomination without a confirmation hearing. That experience led Guinier to use her subsequent public platform to speak out on issues of race, gender and democratic decision-making and to call for candid public discourse on these issues.

http://www.minerscanary.org/whoweare/lani_guinier.htm

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:27 AM

14. So McCain and Graham are complaining about someones "Personality Disorder"?

Oh my God the irony.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:09 AM

16. Sounds to me like same old, same old . . . the woman's not "feminine" enough

to suit the old guard.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:09 AM

19. Yep... I was just about to say that, short of using the word "bitch"...

...this is exactly how people too often describe women for simply not being doormats, for even daring to be half as assertive and confrontational as a man can be while the man is praised as "bold" and "decisive" and "no nonsense".

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:38 AM

24. The glass ceiling can be a bitch in and of itself

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:09 AM

17. This is pure bullsh!t. All of a sudden we have all these anonymous leaks about Rice's temperament

and the linked article compares her to a drunk who was not confirmed 20+ years ago. Give me a break. Last week the right was leaking info about her conflict of interest due to the fact that she and her husband held stock in the Canadian company which the State Dept war reviewing related to the XL Pipeline aimed to poison the water because she as a black woman dared have a few dollars. I think the link was intentional to disqualify her based on racial resentment. The fact that the Stock Ownership was reported in her federal disclosure requirement forms shows just how truly conflicted she really is for actually reporting what she's supposed to report. Unlike Paul Ryan who had to amend his tax returns after being vetted by the Romney campaign and having to pay additional taxes for some income he and his wife conveniently happened to forget.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:41 AM

25. Anyone else remember the Nina Simone song on mean old backlash?

Seems apt for this State Department and Republican angst right now.

The commenters over there had nerve to throw Israel in the mix because they don't think Rice will be sufficiently subservient/submissive/ or some other vile woman down language.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:44 AM

18. Haven't we heard this song before?

I remember when Hillary was "shrill," "polarizing," and "cold." Now, Republicans fall all over themselves to praise her -- at least for now. This is all about lashing back at Obama for having the nerve to be reelected.

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Response to macwriter (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:43 AM

26. For now until they pull out all their Clinton tropes if 2016 comes to pass

They are already trying to set up the Democratic primary so other Democrats won't think they can beat her nomination because Obama was a flash in the pan.

I bet they won't have to do any massive opposition research for either Bill or Hillary Clinton.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:33 AM

22. Grove, the writer, left Rice's defense to the very end of the article



“Susan is a total team player, and that's frustrating for journalists—she's not giving the inside story,” notes Samantha Power, who among other duties is Rice’s point person on the National Security Council. “If her view doesn't prevail, she doesn't go and litigate it in The New York Times."

Another colleague, who asked not to be named, says Rice “has some connections in the media, but they are mostly focused on Africa and the African-American media.” This colleague adds: “You have to keep in mind that compared to someone like Hillary, she doesn’t have these networks in Washington.”

As for Rice’s famously sharp tongue, “Susan is tough minded, but she's not alone in having that kind of personality,” says the colleague. “One of the things that attracts people to Susan is her passion on the issues. She is genuinely passionate, but I don't mean hotheaded."

If Rice is not especially popular at the U.N., it’s largely because many of her fellow ambassadors are "old white men with strong personalities" and "it is off-putting to them that she's a young African-American woman."

Power, one of Rice’s colleagues at the White House and U.N. Mission who were encouraged to speak to The Daily Beast, attributes much of the trash-talking to institutional inertia and defensiveness.

“There's a status quo bias across the system, and Susan is not a champion of the status quo if people are hurting,” Power says. “She's always willing to take a tool out of the toolbox and challenge assumptions and not let conventional wisdom cause us to drift from one meeting to the next. She shakes things up, for sure, but she's also phenomenal at building alliances and cultivating relationships…She's not snobby about who she engages with. If there's something she thinks needs doing in the world, she will find the person who is the doer."

Power adds: “Susan brings a very distinct perspective and very assertive presence and voice. She's going to ruffle feathers.”

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Response to genna (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:46 AM

27. Power's opinion

Holds a lot of weight with me. . .

And adding - they are using every stereotype of black women they can. That makes me jut my chin out more - and it ought to make her jut her chin out more too.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:04 PM

30. Each woman and African American has to choose a strategy to power through inertia

Susan Rice seems to have decided to give those who are throwing elbows equal and straight forward elbows back so they'd stay out of her way.

They've decided to come forward and try to cripple her before she comes out of the gate.

She should continue using her strategy.

Obama's strategy does not appeal to everybody.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:09 PM

28. Lame-ass Republicraps

They can't tag her on policy, so they attack personally.
Typical repubicrap credo - if nothing else sticks, attack the person
Fucking losers!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:22 PM

29. So their beef with her is that she is ....Wait for it......

UPPITY!!!!!!!

Sheeit. She has the trifecta going on:

1: She's a FUCKING WOMAN
2:She's FUCKING BLACK!!!!!
3: She's FUCKING EDUCATED!!!

I hate these dried up old men and their worthless souls, empty, wrinkled and useless as their ballsacks.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:38 PM

31. They're confusing her with John Bolton

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:35 PM

33. "She is frequently described in the press"?.. Would that be our US corporate

Mediawhore Plutocratic Press.. That Press?

But Rice’s personality—or “temperament,” in the parlance of her Beltway critics—is increasingly front and center. She is frequently described in the press with such adjectives as “brusque,” “aggressive,” and “undiplomatic in the extreme.”

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:41 AM

35. Nope. McCain's and others' attacks on Rice are their way to distract our attention away from

Petreaus, the real problem.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:50 AM

36. This from the party that sent Bolton to the UN

Why on earth would any of us give the slightest credence to anything coming from the GOP? The fact that they are dead set against her -- long before she's even nominated -- tells me a lot more about the festering pile of pus that is the GOP than it tells me about her.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:17 AM

37. I'm getting the feeling it's more than just the GOP partisans who are badmouthing her

When the partisan sharks start circling a Washington veteran like Hillary or Panetta, an entire army of named and unnamed supporters reliably emerges from the woodwork to push back and sing their praises. They do it out of professional respect and personal loyalty and because they owe favors or want to further their own careers. But I'm just not seeing that happen with Rice, despite the fact that she's been in Washington since the Clinton era and apparently has had time to fill a rolodex full of enemies.

I'm getting the feeling the dissatisfaction with Rice goes a lot deeper than partisan maneuvering.

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Response to Azathoth (Reply #37)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:12 AM

38. Ditto

I agree with your assessment. I believe inside the beltway they want Senator Kerry as our top diplomat, maybe because they believe he got a raw deal in 2004, maybe because he is a true American patriot and hero and he deserve this post, maybe they already have a "very good" replacement for Senator Kerry in MA.

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