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Maureen Dowd Thinks John McCain’s Crankiness Disqualifies Susan Rice For Secretary Of State

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, also the top contender to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, is proving to possess powers that exceed those of The Shadow, who could only cloud the minds of men. Not only has Ambassador Rice sent Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte flailing blindly into the political night, and extracted foolproof fallback advice from Joe Scarborough, she has also put the whammy on New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who asked, in an op-ed, whether Rice’s inability to charm McCain and Co. ought to disqualify her from becoming the next Secretary of State.

Dowd’s column is rife with misinformation (the assault on the consulate in Benghazi was not “an al Qaeda attack,” for example) and omission (Amb. Rice actually did volunteer the specific possibility that an al Qaeda affiliate was involved, on CBS’ Face The Nation), but none of those sins are particularly unique to Maureen Dowd, and have been committed by mainstream and conservative journalists alike. What is new, at least to me, is this bit of “logic”:

When Rice asked to come to the Hill to meet with some of her Republican critics, it seemed détente was nigh. But somehow the hour-and-a-half powwow caused an escalation, with McCain, Graham and Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire emerging to say they had more reservations than before. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who’s scheduled to meet with Rice on Wednesday, suggested that she would be better suited to run the Democratic National Committee than State. If Rice can’t soothe the egos of some cranky G.O.P. pols, how would she negotiate with China?

Set aside Dowd’s “confusion” at a group of senators who are out for Rice’s blood for no good reason continuing to be out for blood for no good reason. Where in the Secretary of State’s job description does it say anything about “soothing egos?” Maureen Dowd has turned this not-even-offered nomination (which didn’t prevent Dowd from deeming Amb. Rice a “secretary of state-manqué”) into an episode of Mad Men, and seems to be under the impression that Amb. Rice is literally applying for a secretary’s job. Maybe she should have poured Sen. McCain a double and helped him unwind on the couch.

This kind of garbage seems to be the direction Ambassador Rice’s opponents are taking as a flanking maneuver to Sen. McCain’s crusade, so maybe Dowd is working some kind of Jedi mind trick on Republicans, trying to get them to go even more sexist against Rice in order to prolong the GOP’s time in the political wilderness. If so, then well played, MoDo. Well played.

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