http://biggovernment.com/2010/01/22...un-ambassador-been-this-past-year/#more-64110 Where Has Susan Rice, our UN Ambassador, Been This Past Year? by Richard Grenell EXCERPT Rice started off her tenure at the UN with a glamour spread in Vogue Magazine by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz showing her kicking back in an empty Security Council Chamber. It was this silly piece that first signaled to the UN reporters and diplomats that Rice was in New York to have fun and participate in the events that Upper East Side diplomats do. While Rice does commute from Washington, DC every week, she lives in the penthouse of the Waldorf Astoria when in New York. She also has the largest Washington, DC office and staff of any U.S. Ambassador to the UN in history. She regularly attends White House social functions appearing as the Disney character “Goofy” at this year’s White House Halloween Party and attended multiple Christmas Parties at The White House this holiday season. While Rice, like all Democrat-appointed US Ambassadors to the UN, also serves in the President’s cabinet, she has nevertheless been absent at many crucial Security Council meetings in New York during some of the world body’s most turbulent times. Rice was even missing from this week’s Security Council debate and vote to add new Peacekeepers to a beleaguered UN operation in Haiti. According to several UN veteran reporters and some US Mission staff, Rice has been missing from crucial negotiations on Iran too. They say that when Rice does attend UN negotiations, she is all too willing to avoid confrontation. The Permanent Members of the Security Council – the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia and China – rely on American leadership to drive issues to a close and force votes. While the Permanent Members historically complain publicly about being forced to vote or meet on certain issues, without one country driving issues to completion the UN Members will keep talking or find ways to continue fruitless discussions. After spending 8 years inside the UN and watching the Security Council debate a plethora of issues, I can personally attest to the fact that an effective American Ambassador cannot worry about being the most popular person in the room. Forcing an end to a UN debate and calling for the Security Council to vote on an issue is never popular. Over the last year, Rice has avoided tough negotiations and public feuds at the UN and has subsequently produced very few UN resolutions on America’s priority issues. While other foreign Ambassadors speak fondly of Rice and her ability to make nice at the UN, she has been a weak negotiator for the American people. Many UN veterans have indicated that Rice’s lack of leadership on the Iranian issue in particular has forced the French Ambassador to pick up the slack in trying to forge a new Security Council resolution to increase sanctions. The irony that the French are tougher than the Americans on the Iran issue has not been lost on career State Department officials.