Should President Obama choose to nominate Susan Rice as Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State replacement, the junior Senator from New Hampshire will be standing firmly in the way.
Following a meeting with Rice, as well as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Ayotte perhaps emerged as the most critical. A report from Hot Air states that she “pledged to put a hold on Rice’s nomination if it came to the Senate, at least until all of the questions surrounding Benghazi have been answered.”
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Ayotte declined to speculate on whether or not she felt that Rice had ever intentionally misled the American public. Instead, she stated that the controversy surrounding President Obama’s current Ambassador to the U.N. “deeply disturbing.”
As Hot Air notes, should a hold be placed on any potential nomination, it would require 60 votes for an override. With Democrats accounting for 55 Senate seats, a small contingent of Republicans would have to be peeled away to support Rice. Should the president decide to nominate Rice, the controversy surrounding the pick could spill into the various filibuster and other “reforms” Majority Leader Harry Reid has continually sought to press forward.
Of course, though Obama has publicly praised Rice, no nomination has been officially made. Senator Ayotte’s threat of a hold, however, clearly shows that “a nomination to run State will grind the Senate to a halt, for no particular benefit to Obama now that he’s won his last election.”
Below is video from Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Ayotte: