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Obama names outspoken Susan Rice as his national security adviser

  • President Barack Obama listens as UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, speaks  in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcement. Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador is at left.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama listens as UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcement. Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador is at left. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • President Barack Obama walks with, from left, current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who is resigning, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, and Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, as they leave the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, after the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    President Barack Obama walks with, from left, current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who is resigning, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, and Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, as they leave the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, after the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • President Barack Obama stands with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, right, current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who is resigning, second from right, and Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, left, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, where he made the announcement. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama stands with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, right, current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who is resigning, second from right, and Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, left, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, where he made the announcement. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • President Barack Obama listens as Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama listens as Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • President Barack Obama walks from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, with, from left, Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, current UN Ambassador Susan Rice,  his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, and outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, after the president made the announcement.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    President Barack Obama walks from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, with, from left, Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, current UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, and outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, after the president made the announcement. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • President Barack Obama applauds UN Ambassador Susan Rice, center, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in Washington. At left is Samantha Power, Obama's nominee to be UN Ambassador, replacing Rice. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    President Barack Obama applauds UN Ambassador Susan Rice, center, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in Washington. At left is Samantha Power, Obama's nominee to be UN Ambassador, replacing Rice. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • President Barack Obama shakes hands with outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, after announcing he will replace him with current UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Barack Obama shakes hands with outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, after announcing he will replace him with current UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama stands with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, as current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, right, applauds in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama stands with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, as current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, right, applauds in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Samantha Power, President Barack Obama choice for next UN Ambassador, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday,June 5, 2013, after the president made the announcement. Power is a fiery human rights advocate who has famously taken presidents to task for refusing to use military force to stop genocide. Nominated as the next U.N. ambassador, she may have to bite her tongue as the Obama administration resists getting drawn into Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Samantha Power, President Barack Obama choice for next UN Ambassador, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday,June 5, 2013, after the president made the announcement. Power is a fiery human rights advocate who has famously taken presidents to task for refusing to use military force to stop genocide. Nominated as the next U.N. ambassador, she may have to bite her tongue as the Obama administration resists getting drawn into Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's choice to become National Security Adviser, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcement. Blunt and outspoken, Rice has been at the center of the international feuding over Syria _ and a lightning rod for criticism over Benghazi. Those controversies overshadowed her time at the UN. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's choice to become National Security Adviser, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcement. Blunt and outspoken, Rice has been at the center of the international feuding over Syria _ and a lightning rod for criticism over Benghazi. Those controversies overshadowed her time at the UN. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama listens as UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, speaks  in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcement. Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador is at left.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • President Barack Obama walks with, from left, current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who is resigning, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, and Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, as they leave the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, after the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  • President Barack Obama stands with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, right, current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who is resigning, second from right, and Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, left, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, where he made the announcement. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • President Barack Obama listens as Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • President Barack Obama walks from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, with, from left, Samantha Power, his nominee to be the next UN Ambassador, current UN Ambassador Susan Rice,  his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, and outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, after the president made the announcement.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  • President Barack Obama applauds UN Ambassador Susan Rice, center, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in Washington. At left is Samantha Power, Obama's nominee to be UN Ambassador, replacing Rice. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  • President Barack Obama shakes hands with outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, after announcing he will replace him with current UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama stands with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, his choice to be his next National Security Adviser, as current National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, right, applauds in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Samantha Power, President Barack Obama choice for next UN Ambassador, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday,June 5, 2013, after the president made the announcement. Power is a fiery human rights advocate who has famously taken presidents to task for refusing to use military force to stop genocide. Nominated as the next U.N. ambassador, she may have to bite her tongue as the Obama administration resists getting drawn into Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's choice to become National Security Adviser, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the president made the announcement. Blunt and outspoken, Rice has been at the center of the international feuding over Syria _ and a lightning rod for criticism over Benghazi. Those controversies overshadowed her time at the UN. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Defying Republican critics, President Obama named outspoken diplomat Susan Rice as his national security adviser yesterday, giving her a larger voice in U.S. foreign policy despite accusations that she misled the nation in the aftermath of the deadly attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

The appointment, along with the nomination of human rights advocate Samantha Power to replace Rice as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, signals a shift by Obama toward advisers who favor more robust American intervention overseas for humanitarian purposes. But it’s unclear whether that philosophy will alter the president’s policies in Syria, where he has resisted pressure to use U.S. military force to stem that country’s civil war.

Rice’s appointment provides a measure of redemption after the contentious Benghazi investigations forced her from consideration as Obama’s second-term secretary of state. The president, who vigorously defended Rice from the GOP criticism at the time, lauded his close friend yesterday as a “patriot who puts her country first.”

“Susan is a fierce champion for justice and human decency. But she’s also mindful that we have to exercise our power wisely and deliberately,” Obama said in a White House Rose Garden ceremony.

The 48-year-old Rice takes the influential national security post in the president’s inner circle from Tom Donilon, who is stepping down in July after more than four years in the Obama White House.

Yesterday’s announcements came as Obama seeks to regroup from three controversies that have emboldened Republicans and threatened to overshadow his agenda: the IRS’s targeting of conservative political groups, the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records of Associated Press journalists and the resurgent investigation into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Rice became entangled in the Benghazi case after asserting in television interviews that the September attack was probably spontaneous, a statement that was later proven false. While Rice said she was relying on talking points crafted by the administration, she became a target for Republicans accusing the White House of trying to cover up a terror attack during the presidential election.

But because Rice’s new job does not require Senate confirmation, some of the GOP lawmakers who doled out the most aggressive attacks appeared resigned to her promotion through the ranks of Obama’s national security team.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, one of Rice’s harshest critics, wrote on Twitter yesterday that he disagreed with her appointment but would “make every effort” to work with her on important matters.

Legacy Comments2

Its amazing ..when Rice speaks, you really cant even see Obama's lips moving.

Should we be surprised that the country's ambassador to the U.N. and soon to be national security adviser expresses the administration's positions?

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