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Insiders with ties to the Obama administration tell The Cable that U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has become the heir apparent to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon — a post at the epicenter of foreign-policy decision making and arguably more influential than secretary of state, a job for which she withdrew her candidacy last fall amid severe political pressure.

“It’s definitely happening,” a source who recently spoke with Rice told The Cable. “She is sure she is coming and so too her husband and closest friends.”

“Susan is a very likely candidate to replace him whenever he would choose to leave,” agreed Dennis Ross, a former special assistant to President Obama and counselor at the Washington Institute. “She is close to the president, has the credentials, and has a breadth of experience.”

Both sources said the timing of succession was uncertain. “I don’t believe Tom Donilon is about to leave but would be surprised if he were to remain for the whole second term,” Ross said. “But in answer to your question, [Rice’s appointment] is very logical.”

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