I predicted on Ed Schulz's show last night that today's meeting betwixt Susan Rice and John McCain would iron everything out, because, you know, that's how it usually works in this town--they emerge for the cameras all smiles, etc.
What I didn't realize is that the meeting wasn't just with McCain but also with Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, the new post-Lieberman third wheel on this little tricycle of mendacity. That's more complicated. And so, I was wrong. The Three Stooges emerged saying they still could not support Rice.
Not only that--but Ayotte went a considerable step farther than simply saying she'd be against Rice's elevation:
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who also attended the meeting, said of Rice: "I would hold her nomination until I had additional answers to questions."
Hold?? She'd place a senatorial hold on a potential cabinet nominee? That's not unprecedented, but it is a heavy, heavy move, especially coming from a fairly junior senator no one's ever heard of. And it's especially heavy to do it to a potential secretary of state. Jim Inhofe placed a hold on Gary Locke's nomination as Commerce secretary. But nobody really cares very much if there even is a Commerce secretary. State is rather different. I'd be curious to know if a senator has ever placed a hold on a nominee for secretary of state, and I think I'll find out.
These three really should be ashamed of themselves, trying to pump this into some huge scandal. And Ayotte will come to rue the day she threw in with Laurel and Hardy here, just as they're becoming figures of self-parody to ever-larger numbers of Americans. She's like a young comedienne joining the cast of a long-running sitcom the season after it jumped the shark.