That didn’t take long. U.N. ambassador Susan Rice has yet to be nominated as secretary of state, but prominent Democrats are already denouncing opposition to her potential nomination as racist on the basis of remarks by Republican senators that she may not be qualified for the job. Would that they had been so sensitive to racial overtones back in 2004, when the African-American nominee for secretary of state, the Republican Ms. Rice, was denounced on the Senate floor and pilloried in racialist cartoons.
Rice’s nomination, noted the Washington Post, garnered “the most negative votes cast against a nominee for that post in 180 years.” As the Senate debated her nomination, Senator Barbara Boxer charged that Rice “frightened the American people” into supporting the Iraq War; Senator Jim Jeffords accused her of being part of an effort to “distort information” in the service of “political objectives”; and Senator Pat Leahy, who voted in her favor, endorsed her by saying that her tenure as national-security adviser lacked “strong leadership, openness, and sound judgment.”
But the remarks of Senate Democrats paled in comparison to the material served up by America’s humorists. Syndicated cartoonist Ted Rall depicted Rice proclaiming herself Bush’s “house nigga.”