Susan Rice Is Frontrunner for Secretary of State She'll visit her 3 biggest Benghazi critics By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted Nov 26, 2012 7:56 PM CST 40 comments Comments US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice addresses members of the media at UN headquarters Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) (Newser) – Looks like Susan Rice's star is on the rise. After handling a barrage of Republican criticism over Benghazi, Rice has become the frontrunner to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, the AP reports. Rice will visit key lawmakers this week and sit down with three of her biggest Senate critics tomorrow: John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte, reports Politico. "I'm not hoping for anything," said McCain when asked if he still opposed her nomination. "She asked to see me and I agreed to see her." Hoping to avoid a major political battle, the White House is feeling out other GOP lawmakers to see how deeply they oppose Rice. But at least publicly, Republicans have softened their views on her: "I assumed she had full knowledge of everything that went on" in Benghazi, said Sen. Jim Inhofe. "I'm not at all convinced of that now." If Rice wins the nomination, the AP says, she will likely press President Obama to intervene more in world affairs. She's also more blunt—even aggressive—and known for her occasional use of salty language.