POLITICS
12/13/2012 06:19 pm ET

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice: Secretary Of State Withdrawal Was Move To Avoid 'Disruptive' Process (VIDEO)

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from the running of potential secretary of state candidates on Thursday, a development first reported by NBC News' Brian Williams.

In an excerpt of an interview with Williams set to air Thursday night on "Rock Center," Rice explains that she made the decision because she "didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive."

Rice also tells Williams that her move to step aside would ensure that she doesn't incidentally serve as an impediment to President Barack Obama's second term agenda. She said it would also allow her to continue her work as U.N. ambassador.

(Watch an excerpt from the interview above)

More from the Associated Press:

The reluctant announcement makes Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry the likely choice to be the nation's next top diplomat when Hillary Rodham Clinton departs soon. Support for the possible choice of Rice had been waning.

In another major part of the upcoming Cabinet shake-up for President Barack Obama's second term, former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska now is seen as the front-runner to be defense secretary, with official word coming as soon as next week.

Obama has been weighing whether a Rice nomination would be worth the fight. He accepted her decision with a shot at Republicans.

For more on Rice's withdrawal, click over to our previous coverage.

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