The Obama administration's handling of this debacle is interesting, to say the least. No matter how hot it got it seemed President Obama was determined that Susan Rice would be the next Secretary of State. This determination led to the desperate defense that criticism of Rice was racially motivated. Yet they ride all of that out, only to have her bow out now? I have a couple of thoughts on this.
1) President Obama was concerned about an open confirmation process where a lot of questions about Benghazi would be asked. I believe she lied to Senators in the close door meetings, which is why they were as critical of those meetings as they were. Next time will be in public
2) Rice's long term record is a disaster, Benghazi notwithstanding. Brett Stephens of the Wall Street Journal has spent his last two columns chronicling her diplomatic failures dating back to the Clinton years. It's a shockingly horrific record. He gave Senators all the ammo they would need for a harsh grilling of her long term diplomatic record.
Rice may have survived questions about Benghazi or questions about her track record. But President Obama is aware of what was out there and there is no way he was going to start his second term out that way. But it still begs the question; why did he go to the mat for her for so long. His MO is to dump people who become liabilities overboard, and quickly. With Rice he tried to ride it out for as long as he could. Why?