President Barack Obama nominates Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 10:22:37 by

U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated Senator John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as his next secretary of state.


The president said Senator Kerry’s entire life prepared him for the role, and praised him for the “respect and confidence” he has earned from world leaders. Kerry ran as Democratic presidential candidate in 2004 and is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


His nomination comes after the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, withdrew from consideration last week. Republicans had fiercely criticised her role in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.


The 69-year-old Democrat is expected to be easily confirmed by his Senate colleagues. He would be the first of what are expected to be several new faces on Obama’s national security team, including a new defense secretary and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


The son of a diplomat, Kerry has served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is a decorated Vietnam veteran who was critical of the war effort when he returned home to the United States.


He has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1985. ”John’s entire life has prepared him for this role” said Obama, who praised Kerry for his belief that the country must harness all elements of Americans power.


The president picked Kerry for the post even though his nomination could create a political problem in Massachusetts. Republicans are eying the Senate seat Kerry will vacate after five terms, and recently defeated GOP Sen. Scott Brown would be a favorite in his party for the job.


Kerry’s nomination could bring to a close what has become for the White House a contentious and distracting effort to find a new secretary of state. Analysts say his nomination is unlikely to face opposition from Republicans, who had threatened to oppose Ms Rice, despite the president’s strong defence of her actions over Libya.


Kerry will have to give up his seat in the Senate, where he represents the state of Massachusetts. The Democrats may face a tough battle to keep it in the subsequent election.

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