November 29. 2012 6:34PM

Senate exercised due diligence upon checking into Susan Rice

Speaking bluntly to the controversial woman being considered for U.S. secretary of state, one senator accused her of being misleading, saying: "Instead of seizing the opportunity, it seems to me, Dr. Rice, you have danced around it and, sort of, stuck to the party line...."

Those sexist Republicans and their trumped up opposition to minority women! Except, that senator was Joe Biden. The woman was Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush's nominee for secretary of state.

The Obama administration is hinting that the President's choice to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state will be current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. For expressing skepticism that Rice is the best choice for this important position (held by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Daniel Webster among many others), some Republicans have been accused of being sexist or racist or both. Who could possibly vote against a minorty woman nominated for secretary of state?

John Kerry, for one. He and a dozen other liberals voted against Condoleezza Rice, the largest vote against a secretary of state nominee since Henry Clay's nomination in 1825. Only Democrats are allowed to vote against minorities and women on principle, obviously.

Susan Rice went on national television and told the American people that the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans was a protest against an Internet movie trailer. That was not true. She blames our intelligence agencies. But the CIA says there was no evidence of a protest. How Rice wound up misleading the American voters just before an election is a question that needs to be answered before she can be considered for this job. Her temperament also is a legitimate issue. Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank has called her "extremely abrasive" and "not necessarily diplomatic." Even liberal Maine Republican Susan Collins questions Rice's fitness for the job. Sexism? No, due diligence, which is what the Senate is supposed to do.