For more on Susan Rice and Samantha Power and the political calculations behind the president's choices, we turn to our national political correspondent, Mara Liasson. And Mara, let's start with Samantha Power. People might be familiar with her name from the White House, but tell us more about her background.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama is shuffling his national security team. As he announced this afternoon, his longtime advisor Tom Donilon will be stepping down next month and Donilon will be replaced as national security advisor by Susan Rice. She is the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, whose comments on last year's attack in Benghazi, Libya have made her a favorite target for Republicans.
President Barack Obama announces a staff shakeup Wednesday, naming U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice (right) to replace the retiring Tom Donilon. He also nominated former White House aide Samantha Power (left) to succeed Rice at the U.N.
President Obama has announced his choice of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as the next national security adviser, an appointment that does not require Senate confirmation. Congressional Republicans have sharply criticized Rice for erroneous statements she made after the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, last September.
It wasn't exactly a surprise to hear that President Obama named U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his next national security adviser.
Almost as soon as it became clear that her role in the administration's Benghazi talking-points snafu meant Senate Republicans would never let her be confirmed as secretary of state if Obama nominated her, the possibility of her taking over from Tom Donilon as Obama's top national security aide was frequently mentioned.
Still, speculation is one thing; an actual appointment, another. So what to make of Rice's appointment?