First Read: Obama Passes on Battle for Susan Rice

President Barack Obama is choosing his battles and securing U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's appointment as Secretary of State is not one of them, NBC's First Read team writes. Rice pulled her name from consideration for the office Thursday, telling NBC's "Rock Center" she dreaded a "very politicized, very distracting" nomination process. That makes Sen. John Kerry the likely pick to head the State Department. But Rice's decision to throw in the towel also perpetuates the narrative of the talking points that guided her television comments days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya — at the expense of discussion of the attack itself, its perpetrators and its victims. It also threatens to fuel criticism of Obama as weak, according to First Read. Rice may have bowed out of the fight for State, First Read notes, but she will likely get the next big foreign policy nod.

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