In Thursday and Friday posts at the "Politico 44: A Living Diary of the Obama Presidency," Jennifer Epstein relayed the announcement that President Barack Obama has nominated Victoria Nuland as the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
In other words, the President is defiantly giving the person who was integrally involved in altering the Benghazi talking points until they bore no resemblance to what really happened a promotion. In her first item, Epstein acted as if Republicans are the only ones who might have a problem with this. In her second item, she found two usual-suspect GOP senators who said they'd be okay being walked over. Excerpts follow the jump.
First, from the story on the original annuncement:
Obama nominates Nuland for assistant secretary of state
President Obama on Thursday nominated Victoria Nuland, a State Department official involved in the editing of the administration's talking points on Benghazi, to be the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
Nuland, a career foreign service officer who was until recently State's top spokesperson, had long been expected to be nominated the post to replace Philip Gordon, who Obama picked to serve as Middle East coordinator for the National Security Council.
Nuland's nomination -- which requires Senate confirmation -- could come under scrutiny from Republicans who see her as playing a central role in shaping the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she appeared on Sunday shows several days after the attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Emails show that Nuland had "serious concerns" about an early draft of the talking points, and conveyed the State Department's wishes that references to Al Qaida and the CIA’s warnings about the dangers to U.S. diplomats in Libya removed from the document.
Next, words of support from two alleged Republicans:
Graham, McCain positive about Nuland nomination
Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain signaled support Friday for Victoria Nuland's nomination to be the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, a pick that could come under some scrutiny because of her role in editing talking points on last year's attack in Benghazi.
“Ambassador Victoria Nuland has a long and distinguished record of service to our nation in both Republican and Democrat administrations," the Republicans said in a joint statement. "She is knowledgeable and well-versed on the major foreign policy issues as well as respected by foreign policy experts ...
... Oh, enough of the blather. I can't take any more of McCain's and Graham's grovelling.
I'll remind readers that I have called Obama the Punk President since Election Day 2008, and that the justifications for that nickname have poured in continually for over 4-1/2 years. The in-your-face Nuland nomination is just the latest example.
Epstein assumption that only conservatives and Republicans have a problem with Nuland's behavior in Benghazi is somewhere between misleading and deceptive. A recent Rasmussen poll showed that "45% Rate Obama Administration’s Benghazi Response As Poor." You can't get to 45% without having a fair number of Democrats and moderates. Victoria Nuland's outrageious misbehavior is an important element of that mix. Jennifer Epstein can try to pretend it away all she wants, but it doesn't change the reality.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.