Page 3 of 3
Criticism over the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack was the principal issue that stopped UN Ambassador Susan Rice from being confirmed as secretary of state, and it remains a contentious point on Capitol Hill. Most recently, President Obama had to report to Congress exactly how soon he had contacted Libyan authorities once he knew of the attack.
“The president isn’t done with Benghazi,” McDonough said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “He’s demanded of us, since that night, to find out exactly what happened, and to make every reform needed to ensure it does not happen again.”
The politics of the Hagel nomination are obvious to those aware of election cycles – particularly regarding Sen. Graham, who faces reelection next year and the likelihood of a challenge from his right (as did Sen. McCain in 2010).
“Graham's antics have as much to do with events in Columbia, S.C., as with events in Washington,” writes Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. “His sentiments are no doubt genuine, but the ferocity with which he has been attacking the Obama administration – taking a high-profile role on Benghazi, Susan Rice, Hagel and gun control – are helping him to repel a tea party primary challenge at home.”