John Kerry to Replace Clinton as Secretary of State
President Barack Obama is said to have chosen Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. He is slated to announce his choice of Kerry in the next few weeks. The White House didn’t confirm the report.
It is known that Senator Kerry was interested in the position. The former presidential nominee was the favorite after UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew from consideration last week. Rice was said to be President Obama’s first choice. She backed out before facing a confirmation battle.
Several Republicans were against her selection. They believed that Rice misled Congress and the American public about the probe into September’s deadly attack on the US Consulate in Libya. She is expected to remain in her current post and may take another position in the future.
Senator Kerry is rumored to be Hillary Clinton’s choice to succeed her to the State Department. He is respected on the international stage and at present, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to reports, his spot on the committee will be taken be Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
With Kerry’s looming departure from the Senate, a political battle in Massachusetts is building up. There are speculations that Republican Scott Brown would run in a special election to fill Kerry’s vacant seat. Brown lost his Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren in last month’s election.
Brown won Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat in 2010. He has a high favorability rating in the state even if he lost the last election. It is still unknown who the Democrats would choose to run against the Republican.
Several Republican leaders indicated that they would not be against Kerry’s nomination as Secretary of State because that means it would open up the seat in Massachusetts.
President Obama will continue to fill out his national security team in the next couple of days. There are rumors that he would choose former Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to be the next Secretary of Defense.