Susan Rice withdraws name from Secretary of State consideration

      U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for the U.S. Secretary of State nominee.

      "If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Rice wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama, obtained by the Washington Post.

      Obama released a statement praising Rice and said he's grateful that she'll continue serving as U.N. Ambassador.

      “While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first," Obama said, according to the Washington Post. “The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.”

      A person familiar with the deliberations said support has been trending away from Rice for the past few days.

      Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is perceived internally to be the front-runner for the secretary of state position.

      Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is also seen as the front-runner for Obama's next defense secretary.

      The person familiar with the deliberations requested anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations.

      Rice had become the public face of the tangled administration description of what happened in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 of this year when four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, were killed in what is now known to have been a terrorist attack.

      Rice withdrew her name because she was convinced the confirmation process would be disruptive.{ }

      "That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country," Rice said.

      The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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