Before the November elections, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had already forthrightly assumed responsibility for the Benghazi debacle that resulted in the death of four Americans including much-admired Ambassador Chris Stephens’

But neither her statements nor subsequent departures of State Department officials has quieted the echo chamber of blame.  The buck stops at the top, and an independent panel report  found plenty of buck to lay on Clinton’s desk. She must own and start to fix the problems of inadequate security at US embassies before she departs.

Still, it’s hard to see the trashing of Susan Rice and the subsequent GOP drumbeat about Hillary Clinton as anything other than blatantly intended to discredit her stellar performance on the world stage this past four years and to mortally wound her candidacy (previously declared unbeatable by Newt Gingrich should she make a second presidential run in 2016.

As Meagan Vazquez points out in her “Young Politica” column below about Susan Rice, the facts are never just the facts but rather come laden with political and cultural meaning.

And by the way, I’m thrilled to tell you that Maegan is going to continue her column into the new year! So if you are one of the many followers of this smart column from a student’s point of view, we’ll return to publishing it on Mondays in 2013. See you then!

After the initial boredom post-election, the political media immediately focused on the eminence of the fiscal cliff. Since those talks are still going nowhere, media sought a new subject to sink their teeth into: Susan Rice and the secretary of state bid. Rice, who was being vetted to take over Hilary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State, has been the subject of scrutiny by some for being the ill-informed messenger to national media after the Benghazi terrorist attacks.

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Researching candidates is key when deciding who you will vote for in the 2012 presidential election. However, deciphering fact from opinion about how they would lead the country on major issues can be overwhelming—especially for a first-time voter.

As I have mentioned in previous columns, our demographic (college-aged females) plays a pivotal role in this election. Our choice, come November, has the power to determine how much we owe after college, who we can marry, and how long we can stay on our parents’ insurance plan.

So what can the two major presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, offer us? Here are just a few key points in the election that concern our demographic.

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Growing up, I always asked Mom lots of questions. Questions like “What does ‘superfluous’ mean?” and “What’s an endocrinologist?” were common, and quite commonly, Mom replied:

“Look it up in the dictionary.”

Nowadays, I still have questions. They’re a little more difficult for Mom to answer, so her reply is more like:

“Look it up on the Internet.”

It’s very easy to give up on answering a question when the answer is not easily found. From questions in an exam, to solving a problem with university administration, to learning how to vote, I’ve found myself at bottomless pits of questions that don’t have answers on SparkNotes.com or FAQ pages.

I was in this predicament when I attempted to vote through an absentee ballot. I didn’t know how to get a hold of a ballot or where to vote or what to send. I was clueless! I expected that all of the information would be readily available on one government website, which would make it easier for college students.

I was wrong.

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