In recent articles, the Spirited Reasoner opined that both U. S. Rep. Val Demings (D. FL, 10th Cong. Dist.) or Georgia State Rep. Stacey Abrams (House District 89 and currently Georgia House Minority Leader) are excellent options to join the Biden ticket. This week we consider an individual whose education, experience, and other qualifications may place her head and shoulders above the competition. (Except as noted otherwise, sources for all the information in this week’s blog post can be found in articles devoted to each of the candidates in Wikipedia and Biography.com.)
Spirited Reasoners will note that I have not (yet) offered an opinion on the candidacy of the persons who may be considered the frontrunners; those being U. S. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. More about those two, below.
The educational credentials of Susan Rice are nothing short of spectacular. Having graduated from the National Cathedral School in Washington, D. C. as valedictorian (where she also played three sports and served as president of the student council), she attended Stanford, University, where she earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. At Oxford, she went on to earn her M.Phil and D.Phil degrees, writing a dissertation that won the Walter Frewen Lord prize for outstanding research in the field of Commonwealth history. (Most of us who earned our doctorates were just happy to survive the oral defense.)
Her foreign policy credentials are no less spectacular. She worked in the private sector as a management consultant, then joined the staff of the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton in 1993. After a stint with the Brookings Institution, she served as a foreign policy advisor to President Barack Obama, who appointed her to serve as the first African American woman to represent the United States as Ambassador to the United Nations. In 2013, President Obama tapped her to become his National Security Advisor. She served in that capacity through the end of President Obama’s second term, thus placing her directly at odds with Donald Trump when the latter accused the former administration of spying on his campaign, an accusation she has strenuously denied.
After Trump’s election she returned to the private sector and, since March of 2018, she has served on the Board of Directors of Netflix.
Education. Public service. Private sector experience. And, among her many intangible strengths, she is the daughter of an education policy expert (her mother) and an Ivy League professor and former governor of the Federal Reserve System (her father). What could possibly be missing?
Some would argue that the one ingredient lacking from Susan Rice’s sterling resume is a successful run for any elective office. That’s the ingredient pundits point to when opining that Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren should still be considered the betting favorites. Ms. Rice has, however, demonstrated her ability to handle public scrutiny at the national and international level throughout her career.