Susan Rice Wins Crucial Bernard-Henri Levy Endorsement

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 27 2012 2:42 PM

Susan Rice Wins Crucial Bernard-Henri Levy Endorsement

It was, on balance, a poor day for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. In the morning, she met with Sen. John McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the three Republicans who have taken it upon themselves to run foreign policy for the Republican Party. (Ayotte is sort of the Shemp to Joe Lieberman's Curly.) The meeting convinced none of the senators that Rice should be promoted to Secretary of State. They actually -- surprisingly! -- used the opportunity to criticize her in front of a larger group of cameras.

Then McCain left the Senate to appear at the Foreign Policy Initiative's forum, onstage with the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, to discuss the need for an American intervention in Syria. They kicked it off by reminiscing about the early days of intervention in Libya, when Levy personally cajoled French leaders into action, and that action slowly spurred the Americans.

"America's honor was saved by three women," said Levy. "Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton!"

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McCain kept his eyes on Levy, and did not change his facial expression, denying the audience a moment of awkwardness.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.