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10 Dec, 2020 15:28

Biden picks former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice for WH domestic policy council

Biden picks former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice for WH domestic policy council

Projected US president-elect Joe Biden has named Susan Rice, another Obama administration veteran, as head of the White House Domestic Policy Council – a position that does not require Senate confirmation.

Rice, who was previously reported to be under consideration for both vice president and secretary of state, was named to the position on Thursday.

Under the role, Rice would oversee the implementation and coordination of the Biden administration’s domestic policies. News of the appointment came as something of a surprise for those expecting the former national security adviser and UN ambassador to be picked for a more outward-facing role.

Rice, who recently described last month’s election as “our democracy’s near-death experience,” is one of dozens of former Obama staffers whom Biden has summoned from think tank positions to serve in his administration.

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She is expected to be actively involved in the Biden administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare, immigration, and racial issues, all of which the Democrat has declared key domestic priorities.

Rice has been attacked by both the left and the right for her alleged cover-up of the Obama administration’s role in the Benghazi disaster, and for encouraging the US to get involved in Libya in the first place. She testified that the attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi in 2012 was a “spontaneous reaction” to an offensive video, rather than a “premeditated assault” – a claim that subsequent investigations revealed to be false. Throughout her career in government, Rice has been a reliable cheerleader for the US’ violent ‘regime change’ operations across the Middle East and Africa.

Biden also announced Denis McDonough – Obama’s former chief of staff – as head of Veterans Affairs, continuing his nearly unbroken streak of mining the former president’s personnel files.

In a rare exception to that pattern, the president-elect named Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio) as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She was initially under consideration for Secretary of Agriculture, but that role instead went to Tom Vilsack, who held the same position for all eight years of Obama’s presidency.

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Biden has outfitted his cabinet almost entirely with Obama-era second-stringers. The secretary of state role Rice was originally angling for went to Anhony Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state and assistant national security adviser under Obama. Treasury Secretary pick Janet Yellen led the Federal Reserve during the Obama years, while Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry has been named to a newly created post as “climate czar.”

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