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McCain wants vacant Secretary of State's office

Making his 20th Sunday show appearance since the start of the year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told CBS's Bob Schieffer yesterday he wants Susan Rice to tell a national television audience she was "wrong" to convey the collective judgment of the intelligence community about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Why should Rice do this? I haven't the foggiest idea, but it seems to make sense to McCain, whose smear campaign long ago stopped being rational.

But that's not all he said.

For those who can't watch clips online, at the very end of the "Face the Nation" interview, McCain concluded:

"Under the present circumstances, until we find out all the information as to what happened, I don't think you could want to support any nominee right now because this is -- this is very, very serious, and it has even larger implications than the deaths of four Americans.

"It really goes to the heart of this 'light footprint' policy that this administration has been pursuing. And all of the failures throughout Middle East that are now -- the chickens are now coming home to roost."

Got that? As far as McCain is concerned, he not only wants to block a possible Rice nomination, he'll also oppose "any" Secretary of State nominee until he's prepared to bring this tantrum to a close.

Why? Because McCain disapproves of the Obama administration's foreign policy. As the senator sees it, a "light footprint" in the Middle East -- fewer boots on the ground -- leads to violence, and the way for him to register his disapproval is to ensure the nation has no chief diplomat.

This, apparently, is McCain's preferred solution to his dwindling influence and relevance. It's a rather sad spectacle.