Dec. 14 - Susan Rice withdraws her name from consideration as U.S. secretary of state in the face of what promised to be a difficult Senate confirmation battle. Sarah Charlton reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL She was tipped as a frontrunner for the post of U.S. secretary of state, but after weeks of criticism Susan Rice has dropped out of the race. In a letter to President Obama, Rice withdrew her name as a candidate to take over from Hillary Clinton, saying she wants to avoid a lengthy and costly battle in the Senate. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations drew heavy fire from Republicans after comments she made about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead. On several TV channels Rice said the assault was due to protests over an anti-Muslim film. Officials later said militants linked to al Qaeda were involved, and acknowledged that there were no protests. SOUNDBITE: SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N., SAYING (English): "When discussing the attacks against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. I made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers." Analysts say that with Rice out of the picture, Obama will likely turn to Senator John Kerry to take up the role.