(CBS Local)– Susan Rice has been a National Security Advisor, United States Ambassador to the United Nations and a Rhodes Scholar. Thanks to her Simon & Schuster book “Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For,” she’s also a New York Times bestseller and her book is now available in paperback.
Rice was also one of the final contenders for Joe Biden running mate in the 2020 presidential election before California Senator Kamala Harris was selected to join the Democratic ticket. President Barack Obama’s former National Security Advisor has known Biden since the 1990s and spends part of her book describing her working relationship with the former vice president. Rice also goes through her personal journey and the lives of her late parents, who were big fans of Biden. She knows her parents would’ve been so happy to see their daughter considered as Biden’s running mate.
“I think they would’ve been proud and I think they’d be a little bit nervous,” said Ambassador Rice in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They’d want me to think it through it terms of how it works for me and my family. I think they’d be saying that they were proud that I was seriously considered. They loved Joe Biden by the way, so I think they’d be especially excited that it was he who was doing the considering. Now I’m trying very hard to ensure that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected in November. If Joe Biden would like me to play some other kind of role, they [my parents] would want me to be open to that and I am.”
In addition to her tales about working in the Obama administration, Rice tells stories in her book about being involved in the Michael Dukakis campaign in 1988, serving on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council from 1993-1997 and her personal and professional relationship with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. The first woman to ever hold that position has played an extremely important role in Rice’s life.
“Long before she was Secretary of State or UN Ambassador or anything fancy, she was another mom of kids that I went to school with,” said Rice. “My mom and her became friends because they worked together in doing stuff for our school. I lost both my parents in recent years and in many ways she is one of the closest things I still have to a mom. Later in life, she became a mentor and my boss and a colleague.”
One of the most important decisions Rice made in her political journey was going to work for a young senator from Illinois named Barack Obama in 2008 election. While Rice worked in the Clinton administration and had some tell her the decision to work for President Obama would be career-ending, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with someone who represented so much to her.
“It was a great pleasure and privilege to be a part of that experience from the outset,” said Rice. “I saw then Senator Obama as somebody who had an enormous future. He was somebody that I could really relate to. We were close to the same age, he is about three and a half years older than me, just like my husband. We have similar life experiences in many ways and we had a similar outlook on the world and on our country and what a presidency under his leadership would accomplish.”
With less than 70 days until the 2020 Presidential Election, Rice is now focused on doing everything in her power to get Biden and Harris elected.
“What’s most important for them is to be talking about the concerns of the American people,” said Rice. “That boils down in this moment to the pandemic, the economy and kids not being able to go back to school. Those are the core issues that are affecting Americans across this country. They are being very clear that they have concrete plans to deal with these challenges. Joe Biden has laid out a very detailed economic plan, a very detailed set of plans to deal with the pandemic and those are the prerequisites to enable are kids to go back to school. To me, what they need to do and what I’m confident they will do is stay focused on how they are going to help people in this deep, desperate time of need and not be distracted by Donald Trump’s dystopian view of America.”
“Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For” is available wherever books are purchased and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.