Kerry Gets Nod for Secretary of State: Reports

After Susan Rice Pulls Out, Senator Is Obama's Pick

getty images

By Reuters

Published December 15, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, a source familiar with the process said on Saturday.

Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president in 2004 and a stalwart Obama supporter, had been widely tipped as the likely candidate for top U.S. diplomat following the withdrawal last week of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

Rice, a close Obama confidante, withdrew her name from consideration after heavy fire from Republicans for remarks she made in the aftermath of a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Clinton has is expected to leave Obama’a administration amid widespread speculation she will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for its early public explanations of the attack, and trained most of their firepower on Rice, who went on television to say that preliminary information suggested the assault was the result of protests over an anti-Muslim video made in California rather than a premeditated strike.

Rice, defended by Obama and other senior members of the administration, said on Thursday she was withdrawing her name from consideration to avoid a potentially lengthy and disruptive confirmation process in the U.S. Senate.

Kerry, known both nationally through his presidential run and in the U.S. Senate where he has long been a senior Democratic powerbroker, offers no such challenges.

After losing narrowly to Republican George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election, Kerry forged a new identity as a congressional leader on foreign policy, often serving as a low-profile emissary for the White House.

Even Republicans in Congress said they expected their colleague to sail through the confirmation process.

“I think John Kerry would be an excellent appointment and would be easily confirmed by his colleagues,” Maine Republican Susan Collins said recently.

Kerry’s departure from the Senate forces the Democrats to defend his seat.

The just-defeated but still-popular Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, who took office in early 2010 after winning the last special election for a Massachusetts seat, is widely expected to run for Kerry’s seat if he leaves.

Republicans criticized Rice for being too much of a political ally of Obama’s rather a stateswoman. But Kerry has his own close ties to the Democratic president.

Kerry supported his fellow senator early in his 2008 presidential campaign and was a leading contender to be Obama’s first secretary of state.

He served as an important ally in the Senate after Obama won the White House and has also played important supportive roles for the White House in foreign policy. Obama sent Kerry to Afghanistan in 2009, when he helped talk President Hamid Karzai into agreeing to a runoff election.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.