When Hillary Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State to prep for a presidential run, her boss had an obvious replacement in mind. His close political ally, Susan Rice. But while Obama had won nearly all of his appointment battles, moving Rice into the top position on foreign policy was too much.
Senate Republicans would always associate Rice with Benghazi. But even Senate Democrats had second thoughts about the woman who is at the center of Obamagate and a potential Biden Veep pick.
When Rice ended her bid to replace Hillary, it was a bitter and shocking defeat for Barack Obama who responded with an angry tantrum, accusing Republican senators of efforts to "besmirch her reputation".
"If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly," Rice wrote in an open letter to Obama. "I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time."
While Obama publicly directed his anger at Senate Republicans, there was little enthusiasm for defending Rice even among Senate Democrats. Beyond Benghazi, Rice’s years in the foreign policy establishment had left behind scandal, dishonesty, and even genocide in her political wake.
Rice’s involvement in genocide had been linked to the same quality that had entangled her in Benghazi.
"If we use the word genocide and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November election?" Samantha Power, who would later become Obama's UN Ambassador, quoted Rice as saying during the Rwandan Genocide. Rice has claimed that she does not remember ever saying that.
The genocide of black people mattered less to Rice than her southern white boss winning an election.
Rice's calculus, whether it was the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Africans or four Americans in Libya, was how it would affect the upcoming elections for Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.