UNITED NATIONS — Susan Rice, the top US diplomat at the center of speculation about a top job in the new Obama administration, said Monday she is happy to remain the US ambassador to the United Nations.
US media reports have made Rice a strong contender to become US secretary of state in place of Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama's national security adviser.
"I love my job here at the United Nations. I always have, I always will, especially today, and I look forward to continuing to serve for as long as President Obama would like me to," Rice told reporters after the United States secured a second term on the UN Human Rights Council.
The comment did little to dampen speculation about Rice, whose place as a close adviser to Obama and experience as a diplomat is considered her main strength as a potential secretary of state.
Worries have been raised, however, that she could struggle to get Senate confirmation following a controversy over the attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya in September in which the US ambassador was killed.
Republican attacks have targetted Rice, who on the Sunday after the attack went on television talk shows and said that according to the information available at the time it was a "spontaneous" protest.
Clinton and Obama have both defended Rice saying that she had given the best information available.