TODAY | December 14, 2012
>> david gregory , moderator of "meet the press." let's bring pic up where andrea left off. by all accounts, this was susan rice 's decision. the white house didn't push her. however, given how the president so vigorously defended her, how they have such a close relationship and that he felt that the criticism was unfair, are you surprised he didn't fight harder?
>> everyone knew going back weeks that the president would have a tough choice to make. if he wanted to press ahead it was, as susan rice said, going to be costly, going to be prolonged, going to be an ugly confirmation. i spoke to republicans on capitol hill who said it could have been hard for her to get confirmed. maybe she would have, but it certainly could have taken a long time. we could have delayed this process. look at all the acrimony over the fiscal cliff right now. i don't think the president wanted that going into his second term.
>> you're being told by one white house official that john kerry is all be confirmed for getting the position.
>> chuck agel is very much in contention, another vietnam veteran and former republican senator from nebraska to be defense secretary . and that means that they will have to think about having a more diverse cabinet in those top positions, treasury, attorney general. perhaps janet napolitano there. they have to decide what to do at cia.
>> taking a step back, david, are there larger political implications to this whole episode with susan rice ? might republicans be emboldened, might democrats be angry and could this have any effect, say, in the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations?
>> that's a good question. talking to white house officials last night, they say pointedly the president's anger has not evaded. andrea talks about other women within the administration, women and men who were very close to susan rice who felt she was mistreated, that this was washington power play at its very worst. washington is a mess right now. i know that's not a revelation, but you have somebody who is very capable who got in the middle of a highly partisan attack, who is no longer going to serve -- potentially not going to serve in the role she could have potentially served in. she will probably still remain in the administration. the fiscal cliff is not going well. that all creates a very bad atmosphere. benghazi investigation doesn't go away. hillary clinton will testify this week. there's still a lot of questions about the security in a country where we don't have a large troop presence.
>> what do you have on "meet the press" this weekend?
>> senator lindsey graham , who led the fight against susan rice , will join me, as well as diane fi dianne feinsteinstein, who has been a defender. we'll have them both and continue the discussion.
>> >> andrea and david, thank you.