12/03/2012 02:03 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2013

Focus on the Facts: Susan Rice's Credentials and Record

I've said it before and I will say it again; I sleep better at night knowing that Dr. Susan Rice is serving the United States of America.

I have personally known Susan for over 25 years and I can say, without hesitation, she is an individual of the highest integrity. Her extraordinary intellect, drive, and determination have always been, and will always be, focused through a lens of deeply dedicated patriotism. People may disagree with her policies or decisions, but I cannot stand idly by as her character and commitment to the service of our country is disparaged. Susan is a person who lives and breathes her job 24/7 and takes her position of responsibility very seriously. Her distinguished career has encompassed the highest honors, awards for service to our nation, and personal sacrifice for our country. No one could be more completely devoted to protecting all of us.

Attached below is the text of a letter -- signed by 50 members of the House of Representatives -- that describes Susan Rice's public service career and eloquently asks us all to put aside petty grievances and Beltway maneuvering to focus on the important issues at stake for our nation -- fighting terrorists -- instead of attacking the credibility of an exceptional American leader.

Please join me in lending your voice to share this sentiment.

Bonnie St. John

Acknowledging the Extraordinary Contributions of an Exemplary American Diplomat and Servant

In January 2009, when President Obama nominated Susan Rice to the post of U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of his Cabinet, he did so knowing very well there were few with more skill, depth of experience and long-standing commitment to service. President Obama nominated a Rhodes Scholar, Stanford University graduate and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.

Over the last several days, Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte have gone to extraordinary lengths to level unfair attacks against a stalwart American whose public service spans two administrations. In particular, Mr. McCain's assertion that Ambassador Rice is "unqualified" is unsettling. It is disappointing that someone who has served his nation with distinction - both in the Navy and the U.S. Senate -- would stoop to petty politics rather than direct precious time and energy to discussions around the safety and security of our foreign service and civil servants.

We call on Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte to immediately retract their troubling remarks and shift focus to the important and critical security concerns of our diplomats abroad.
In nominating Ambassador Rice, the President recognized the extraordinary contributions she has made in the service of her nation and in international relations. From 2002 to 2009, Rice was a foreign policy Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 1995 to 1997, she served as Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. And from 1993 to 1995, she served as the Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Council. Throughout her impressive career, Ambassador Rice has promoted peace and security in regions plagued by instability and crisis and has been a champion in the difficult work to advance U.S. national security and U.S interests aboard.

President Obama recently noted of Ambassador Rice's service, "Let me say specifically about Susan Rice: She has done exemplary work. She has represented the U.S. and our interests in the U.N. with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace."

As the recipient of the 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, cooperative relationships between states and an expert on fragile states, global poverty and transitional security, Ambassador Rice is an American treasure.

We applaud Ambassador Rice for her exemplary service to our great nation.

Signatory Members of the U.S. House of Representatives:

Gwen Moore
Marcia Fudge
Karen Bass
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Terri Sewell
James E. Clyburn
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Barbara Lee
Silvestre Reyes
Yvette D. Clarke
Adam Smith
Frederica S. Wilson
Sheila Jackson Lee
Rick Larsen
Steve Cohen
Janice D. Schakowsky
John Conyers Jr.
Brad Sherman
Louise Slaughter
Betty McCollum
Corrine Brown
Emanuel Cleaver
Bobby L. Rush
Gerald E. Connolly
Danny K. Davis
Hansen Clarke
Sanford D. Bishop
G.K. Butterfield
Elijah E. Cummings
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Charles B. Rangel
Cedric L. Richmond
David Scott
Robert "Bobby" Scott
Al Green
Keith Ellison
Melvin L. Watt
Alcee L. Hastings
Tim Ryan
Donna M. Christensen
Henry "Hank" Johnson, Jr.
André Carson
Chaka Fattah
William Lacy Clay
Michael Honda
Gregory W. Meeks
Doris O. Matsui