U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice is rumored to be President Obama’s first choice to succeed Thomas Donilon as national security advisor.

The Washington Post, citing an administration official familiar with the president’s thinking, reported Saturday that Rice “has emerged as far and away the front-runner.”

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Tapping Rice would likely to prompt an angry Republican backlash in Congress.

Rice was widely reported to be the Obama’s first choice for secretary of State, but withdrew her name after encountering strong Republican opposition led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Capitol Hill. She called the president in mid-December to take herself out of the running for the nation’s top diplomatic post.

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