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Obama to nominate John Kerry as next Secretary of State

By Dan Rosenfeld,
Follows Susan Rice’s politically charged withdraw

President Barack Obama has decided to nominate Massachusetts Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State, replacing Hillary Clinton.

According to CNN, United Nations ambassador Susan Rice was Obama’s first choice for the job, though she withdrew herself from consideration following weeks of criticism from congressional Republicans over her statements following the September attack in Benghazi, Libya.

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry has extensive experience dealing with foreign governments, including a trip to Pakistan to mend relations following the attack that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Kerry served as a highly decorated Lieutenant in the Navy during the Vietnam War though rose to prominence for leading the Vietnam Veterans against the war organization upon his return. He became a Massachusetts senator in 1984, and lost the 2004 presidential election to George W. Bush.

If Senator Kerry is nominated and confirmed, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will name a temporary replacement, and a special election to fill the post would occur in June. Congressmen Ed Markey, Michael Capuano and Steven Lynch were speculated as possible replacements.

Patrick himself is among a list of names proposed for Attorney General, which would create further political upheaval in Massachusetts.

 

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