Obama calls Rice "extraordinary," Cabinet members applaud

WASHINGTON Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:28pm EST

1 of 3. U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks during a meeting with members of his cabinet at the White House in Washington November 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama gave a show of moral support to his embattled ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday, calling Susan Rice "extraordinary" and prompting applause from his Cabinet during a meeting at the White House.

Rice, who is considered a top candidate to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has been meeting this week with senators on Capitol Hill who have been critical of her initial remarks about what prompted the September 11 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Several Republican senators, including former 2008 presidential candidate John McCain, have kept up their criticism of the ambassador after their visits.

Asked whether he thought Rice was being treated fairly in those meetings, Obama at first demurred.

"Susan Rice is extraordinary," he then said, adding he "couldn't be prouder of the job she's done."

The rest of the assembled members of the Cabinet, including Clinton, who sat next to Obama, broke out into applause.

Rice, who is a member of the Cabinet in her role as ambassador to the United Nations, was sitting near the end of the table, smiling.

Obama was holding his first Cabinet meeting since his re-election on November 6. Several of the secretaries, including Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, are not expected to stay for his second term.

(Editing by Stacey Joyce)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
fedupaj wrote:
Obama uses the word “extraordinary” much too frequently simply because he lacks the vocabulary to say something else. The idiot that so many think is a genius.

Nov 29, 2012 11:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.