December 14th, 2012
10:43 AM ET
Washington (CNN) – Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Oval Office Friday when President Obama meets with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
The private one-on-one meeting comes the day after Rice abruptly withdrew her name from consideration to be the next secretary of state, citing a “lengthy, disruptive, and costly” confirmation process.
Rice, thought to be the president’s first choice for the top diplomatic post, took repeated fire for her comments in the aftermath of the September 11, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Meanwhile, a goodwill trip to Capitol Hill to allay concerns late last month did more harm than good.
While the president defended Rice publicly on more than one occasion, his delay in nominating her to the post was largely read as a sign he was wavering on his decision which weakened her standing.
As the president gets set to name a new national security team – which includes a defense secretary, CIA director and secretary of state – there was speculation that Rice might be tapped to fill Tom Donilon’s shoes as national security adviser.
“Susan is going to continue to be an outstanding U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,” Obama said, adding, that “she will continue to be one of the top members of my National Security team."
– CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this report