Rice seen as contender for Clinton’s job

New York - Susan Rice, the top United States diplomat at the centre of speculation about a top job in the new Obama administration, said on Monday she is happy to remain the US ambassador to the United Nations.

US media reports have made Rice a strong contender to become US secretary of state in place of Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama's national security adviser.

Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, says she's happy to keep doing her job for as long as President Barack Obama wants her to. Credit: Reuters

“I love my job here at the United Nations. I always have, I always will, especially today, and I look forward to continuing to serve for as long as President Obama would like me to,” Rice told reporters after the United States secured a second term on the UN Human Rights Council.

The comment did little to dampen speculation about Rice, whose place as a close adviser to Obama and experience as a diplomat is considered her main strength as a potential secretary of state.

Worries have been raised, however, that she could struggle to get Senate confirmation following a controversy over the attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, in September in which the US ambassador was killed.

Republican attacks have targeted Rice, who on the Sunday after the attack went on television talk shows and said that according to the information available at the time, it was a “spontaneous” protest.

Clinton and Obama have both defended Rice, saying that she had given the best information available. - Sapa-AFP