Team of Rivals Starting to Crack

Separate visits to State Dept by Rice, Clinton suggest competition
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Dec 9, 2008 8:13 AM CST
In this file photo of Dec. 18, 2007, Barack Obama takes a question from the audience at a foreign policy forum in Des Moines, Iowa, joined at left by former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice.   (AP Photo/Kevin Sanders, File)
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(Newser) – Separate visits to the State Department by Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice yesterday suggest that the rift between Barack Obama’s two highest-level diplomats may not have healed, reports the AP. Rice, the incoming UN ambassador, bucked her former Clinton administration bosses to support Obama in the primaries. Now she’ll technically be a Clinton subordinate, though Obama may elevate her position to Cabinet-level status.

To maximize her foreign policy pull, Rice is pushing for her own transition team within the State Department, as well as at her primary New York office, anonymous sources say. Influential UN ambassadors have had conflicts with their secretaries of state before: Rice mentor Secretary Madeleine Albright had an icy relationship with Clinton UN ambassador Dick Holbrooke.