Susan Rice withdraws from race of US Secretary of State

Washington: US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has withdrew herself from the race of Secretary of State, considering the stiff opposition she might have faced from the opposition Republican Senators during the confirmation process.

The US President Barack Obama has accepted her decision. "I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State," Obama said in a statement on Wednesday.

Rice was said to be Obama's most favourite choice for the nations' top diplomatic post. Hillary Clinton, the current Secretary of State, has announced that she would leave the position at the end of Obama's first term next month.

"I am highly honoured to be considered by you for appointment as Secretary of State. I am fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively in that role. However, if nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Rice wrote in a letter to Obama.

"That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country," Rice, who currently has been given a Cabinet-level rank in her capacity as the US Ambassador to the UN, said in her letter dated December 13.

"It is far more important that we devote precious legislative hours and energy to enacting your core goals, including comprehensive immigration reform, balanced deficit reduction, job creation, and maintaining a robust national defence and effective US global leadership. Therefore, I respectfully that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time," Rice said.

Rice's letter to Obama comes in the wake of the top Republican Senators going public against her and stating that they would oppose her Senate confirmation process. Many felt that this could result in a lengthy and possibly ugly confirmation process.

Republican Senators have been speaking her on the statement she gave to television networks that that the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi on September 11, resulting in the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, and two other US nationals was a result of an "instant mob violence" and not a terrorist attack.

The United States has since determined that this was a terrorist attack. Obama has defended Rice in public and expressed his outrage at the Republican Senators attacking his top diplomat.

"I am grateful, as always, for your unwavering confidence in me and, especially, for your extraordinary personal support during these past several weeks," Rice said in the letter acknowledging Obama coming to her defence.

On her letter, Rice said that the office of the Secretary of State should not be politicised.

"The position of Secretary of State should never be politicised. As someone who grew up in an era of comparative bipartisanship and as a sitting US national security official who has served in two US Administration, I am saddened that we have reached this point, even before you have decided whom to nominate. We cannot afford such an irresponsible distraction from the most pressing issues facing the American people," Rice said.