Obama Taps Kerry as Secretary of State in 2d Term
President Obama nominated Massachusetts Senator John Forbes Kerry as the next secretary of state Friday, turning to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and one of his earliest political allies to guide American diplomacy in an “uncertain world” during the next four years.
The selection of the 69-year-old Kerry, which came after UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration last week, was heralded across the political divide as a wise choice of a fully tested player on the international stage who can dive into some of the world’s most challenging problems — from the civil war in Syria and fears of an Iranian nuclear bomb to winding down the war in Afghanistan and navigating America’s complex economic and security relations with a rising China.
If Kerry is confirmed, as expected, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick would name a temporary replacement to fill his seat and a special election would be held later next year to complete his term, which is up in 2014.
The nomination to replace Hillary Clinton is the capstone of a three-decade political career that began when Kerry, the son of a Foreign Service officer, returned from the Vietnam War a decorated veteran to become a leading voice of the antiwar movement.