Nice for Rice:

Republicans may have been able to force U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to withdraw her name from consideration for secretary of state in December, but there’s little they can do to prevent her from becoming President Obama’s next national security adviser. According to reports, Rice is the president’s choice to succeed Thomas Donilon in the position later this year. And unlike the secretary of state post she had been considered for previously, Rice would not have to be confirmed by the Senate for the national security adviser job. (Read more)

New Role for Actress? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s path to re-election in 2014 may be about to get a bit more complicated. The Huffington Post reports that sources close to actress Ashley Judd say the liberal has already decided to run for the Democratic Senate nomination in her home state of Kentucky. The website is reporting that the social activist will formally announce her candidacy around the time of the Kentucky Derby, which will take place in early May. Judd has publicly remained mum about her future political plans, though she did issue a not-very-strong denial to the story. (Read more)

Fox Trap: Paul Ryan got hit with a hard dose of reality this weekend when he appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to preview his latest budget, which not only includes cuts to entitlement programs (no surprise there), but also assumes that Obamacare will no longer be in existence. It was a premise Fox News host Chris Wallace was not buying. “Are you saying that as part of your budget you assume the repeal of Obamacare?” Wallace asked. After Ryan said “yes,” Wallace responded, “Well … that’s not going to happen.” Probably not the answer Ryan was hoping or expecting to hear from, of all news networks, Fox. (Read more)

Female Troubles: During a segment about women’s changing roles in the workplace on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, GOP strategist Steve Schmidt made a striking case for equal opportunity in businesses and the U.S. in general that was also a scathing critique of his own party’s poor outreach to women. Schmidt, who is best known for being John McCain’s presidential campaign adviser in the 2008 election, argued on the program that any organization that doesn’t have women “at the table” is “going to have problems. It’s one of the problems we have structurally in the Republican Party. … Any company, any organization in today’s day and age that doesn’t give equal opportunity to women, that doesn’t advance women to the table, is going to be an organization that has difficulty competing.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: You may recall that in December, the gang over at “Fox & Friends” pretended that a man dressed as Santa Claus really was jolly old Saint Nick. It now appears that doing make-believe interviews was not simply a one-off for the show. On Friday, the hosts pretended a guest was the real Thomas Jefferson. At least this time they interviewed someone who was real! Just when you thought “Fox & Friends” couldn’t get any lower. …

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