In a 2001 article about Rwanda in the Atlantic Monthly, called “Bystanders to Genocide,” Samantha Power wrote:
At an interagency teleconference in late April , Susan Rice, a rising star on the NSC who worked under Richard Clarke, stunned a few of the officials present when she asked, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?” Lieutenant Colonel Tony Marley remembers the incredulity of his colleagues at the State Department. “We could believe that people would wonder that,” he says, “but not that they would actually voice it.” Rice does not recall the incident but concedes, “If I said it, it was completely inappropriate, as well as irrelevant.”
According to Time Magazine, Rice has since worked her way back into favor with Power, who is closely connected to President Obama. Indeed, the two are said to enjoy a “strong relationship.” One would expect no less from a foreign policy operative seeking advancement in the Obama administration. For someone of Susan Rice’s ambition, it wouldn’t pay to stay on the bad side of Samantha Power.
But the fact remains that Rice wanted to avoid saying that genocide was occurring in Rwanda in order to help Democratic congressional candidates in 1994 — an election in which Rwanda could hardly have been less relevant. That’s how motivated she is to leave no stone unturned in aiding her party. That’s how political a creature she is.
It’s little wonder, then, that down the stretch of a presidential election — one that she knew might well result in her elevation to Secretary of State — Rice was so anxious to avoid saying that terrorism was occurring in Libya. And it’s little wonder that, given Rice’s willingness to tailor foreign policy statements for political purposes, Team Obama picked her to go on the Sunday talk shows even though, as Obama has since said, the U.N. ambassador had nothing to do with Benghazi.