If President Barack Obama wants U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be his next Secretary of State, he faces a tough battle, even by the measurements one of his staunchest allies on MSNBC.
On Tuesday’s “Today” on NBC, MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews warned Obama about a potential Rice nomination as an “opening act” in his second term, describing it as “not helpful.”
“Officially the White House has not made a decision yet,” Matthews said. “But, I was told last night right at the top over there they haven’t made a decision yet. But he clearly has to get some separation, it seems, from the fight over what happened in Benghazi, what the testimony she gave on ‘Meet the Press’ and those other shows in mid-September was and the issue of who to pick for secretary of state. If he can separate those two issues by a couple of weeks, he benefits. If he has to make this nomination right in the middle of this, we’re gonna have an opening act to the second term which is gonna be very messy and hot and not helpful.”
Matthews also added the timing of this may not be worth it as the president has the fiscal cliff battle in front of him.
“Well, it’s going to distract what his big effort is the next couple of weeks. It is clear that the president has to win the battle over the fiscal cliff. He’s got people on his left, progressives out there who don’t think it is a cliff. He’s got to get them off his back. He’s got to get the business community on his side to put pressure on Republicans in the House so they can get a deal before Christmas. The president has been playing this right so far: make it about the middle class, make it about their tax cut, make it about Christmas shopping and the need to get it done, and also get those rich people to pay their taxes. It’s really a tough fight. If this were his only fight, it would be a toughest fight.”