Pat Brennan / Sports editor
The ‘Shoe hosted more than just the California Golden Bears Saturday.
United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice made a visit to Ohio Stadium for the Buckeyes’ Sept. 15 game.
Rice, who spoke at Ohio State’s Spring Commencement, said she wanted to return to attend a football game, and made good on her word Saturday.
The Stanford University alumnus was invited by OSU President E. Gordon Gee, dressed in an OSU jacket, and rooted for the Buckeyes.
In a halftime interview with The Lantern, Rice talked about her love of sports, her job, and Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed Tuesday evening, along with three other Americans in Libya.
When asked about Stevens, Rice became solemn. Rice was at Andrews Air Force Base Friday when the remains of the four men were returned to the U.S.
She said she was ” very, very sad” about the deaths, and called it a “tragedy.”
“He had a really common touch, a human touch,” Rice said about Stevens.
However, she said people should know the incidents of the past week are “not a reaction against the United States, it’s a reaction against a video that’s deeply, deeply offensive to many, many people.”
She said Stevens wouldn’t want the U.S. to waver in its affairs in the Middle East.
“He would want the United States to stay as firmly committed as we have been in supporting the Libyan people as they try to make the transition to democracy,” she said. “We can’t, in Libya or anywhere else in the region, step back because of a tragic incident like that or anything like that.”
She said that Americans’ should know there are people like Chris Stevens all over the world working hard to defend American values and “protect our security.”
Rice said she was “privileged to work with these folks every day, but it shouldn’t take a tragedy like this for us to acknowledge and honor their service.”
Appointed to her position by President Barack Obama, when asked about her plans for the future, Rice answered with a smile.
“I’m doing what I can do to support and defend and advance our interests with the United Nations, and I’m going to do that as long as President Obama asks me to,” she said. “And after that, I don’t know.”
At halftime, Rice made a final score prediction of 35-21 OSU. As a graduate of Stanford, a known Cal rival, she said she had more than one reason to cheer for OSU.
Rice brought her two kids with her to the game Saturday, and spoke highly of OSU coach Urban Meyer.
“He’s off to a good start, 2-0, he seems to be generating a lot of excitement, and this game I hope is going to end 3-0,” she said at the half. “I think it’s great. He’s got a young team, and obviously there will be some time for building, but at least from the outside…looks like a good start.”
Rice’s visit to the ‘Shoe is preceded by a visit from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, a potential Florida gubernatorial candidate, who came to Columbus to watch the Buckeyes play Central Florida.
A week prior, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan attended the Sept. 1 Buckeyes game against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks, his alma mater.