Saturday, December 22nd 2012 - 07:56 UTC

Obama nominates Senator Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

US President Barack Obama has nominated Senator John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as his next secretary of state. Mr Obama said Mr Kerry's “entire life” prepared him for the role, and praised him for the “respect and confidence” he has earned from world leaders.

Kerry's nomination is unlikely to face opposition from Republicans

Mr 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.

Speaking at the White House, Mr Obama said Mr Kerry understood the need to “harness all elements of American power”, and said the veteran senator was “not going to need a lot of on-the-job training”.

The president added that he was sure Mr Kerry would be swiftly confirmed in the Senate.

Mrs Clinton, who is still recuperating from a stomach virus and concussion, was not present for the announcement. But in a statement, Mrs Clinton said Mr Kerry was an “excellent choice” of head for the state department.

“He will be able to sustain and extend America's global leadership,” she said.

Mr Kerry, 69, becomes Mr Obama's first new cabinet nomination since he won a second term in November.

The president will also have to name a new defence secretary to replace Leon Panetta, and a new director of the CIA to take over from David Petraeus, who quit last month after admitting an affair.

Mr Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, lost a close presidential election to George W Bush in 2004 and had been a contender for the state department in 2008, before Mrs Clinton was chosen.

The BBC's Washington correspondent, Kim Ghattas, says Mr Kerry is well-steeped in the details of world affairs and diplomacy.

She says he has been the Obama administration's unofficial envoy to various hotspots, from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

If confirmed, he will face the problem of ongoing Syrian unrest and continuing concern over Iran's nuclear programme.

Mrs Clinton has indicated she will step down early next year.

Mr 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.

Analysts say Mr Kerry's 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.

Mr Kerry himself had spoken up for Ms Rice, saying: “I've defended her publicly and wouldn't hesitate to do so again because I know her character and I know her commitment. She's an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant.”

Ms Rice's troubles began days after the 11 September assault on the US consulate. She said in a series of TV interviews that it seemed to have developed out of protests over an anti-Islamic film.

But later intelligence reports suggested the attack was carried out by al-Qaeda affiliates. Her comments triggered a major political row over who knew what and when and whether the consulate was adequately protected.

The attack left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

A short résumé on Senator Kerr shows he graduated Graduated from Yale University in 1966; Enlisted in the US Navy and served in the Vietnam War. Honoured with a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts; Attended Boston College Law School, graduating in 1976; Elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982; Entered the US Senate in 1984 and ran as Democratic party candidate for the White House in 2004 narrowly defeated by incumbent George W Bush. Currently he is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate.

11 comments Feed

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1 TipsyThink (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 10:01 am Report abuse
What a timing !!... following recent school slaughter

was J.Kerry a Vietnam véteran ?

Mmmmm, lets watch what US made thére......

*** 10 % of child population of North Vietnam was killed mainly by US bombers,Another 40,000 suffered birth defects becouse of the US Agent Orange defoliation campaign.Untold thousands continue to die to this day from accidentally detonating unexploded American land minés.

*** According to American estimates (Pepper Report) there have been 250,000 children killed 750,000 wounded and invalided for life in Southern Vietnam 0f 14,000,000 inhabitánts.The great majority were killed by US bombers which decimated South Vietnam in efforts to destroy the líberation army and its many millions of southern supporters.More than 10,000 sorties by B-52 s have been carried out over North and South Vietnam..each plane has 30 tonnes bombs.

J.Kerry ! where were you at during Vietnam war .

USA .what a contemptible country.
2 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 02:18 pm Report abuse
Let's not forget the French before the USA and the Chinese before the French if we are going to talk history. At any rate I am happy to see him leave my state as a Senator.
3 LightThink (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 05:59 pm Report abuse
That is an American (US)circus running 24 hours a day 8 days a week and you can spend an infinite amount of time browsing the sweet and bitter end of it at no charge.
4 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 05:06 pm Report abuse
I expected it would be him and always saw Ms Rice (what a name!) as a red-herring, though without Benghazi who knows. In a way it should have been him the first time, as the man who first gave Obama his big break, making him the keynote speaker at the 2004 convention, rather than the woman who did her damdest to try and stop him becoming President. Interestingly he'll be the fist white male in the job since Clinton't first term; as a supporter of affirmative action I suppose its about time =)

#1 To be fair he did become a major protester against the war in the 70s, throwing his medal back at the Whitehouse and appearing at the Winter Soldier hearings. But I suspect that side of his personality wont shine through so much now with him becoming the foreign policy chief of US imperialism =(
5 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 07:03 pm Report abuse
First white man what a prejudice and il informed baffoon. I guess Panetta, Geithner , Salazar, Vilsack, LaHood to name a few don't count as white? Do you SA croonies actually believe you and your MP crew? Things aren't going your way, maybe that's why the sticking cunt from the pink house is in hiding. First white man such a stupid outright wrong statement.
6 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 03:00 pm Report abuse
#5 As Secretary of State specifically, since Clinton's first term. Unless I missed any during the incumbencies of Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza RIce and Hillary Clinton???
7 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 06:33 pm Report abuse
What a stupid comparison of several different President's. ANd to even use the concept of color.....what a low life racist. You comment of affirmative action belys you fool hardiness. Go back to your little editing hole in Uruguay.
You make the most meaningless posts.....“what a name!” “She looks so lovely” “she dresses so elegant” “must be affirmitive action”

And BTW......Kerry is a coward that never saw action in the less than 8 months in Vietnam. The rightousness of the war is irelevant to the actions of those that did not cower and came when asked from their country. I am sure you bleed yellow.
8 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 10:01 pm Report abuse
#7 I'm not comparing Presidents, none of the people I've mentioned have been President (yet) though some have tried. Its quite a simple point I made, for the last 16 years the Secretary of State has either been black, female or both; Kerry being a white man is now actually a novelty in the job and no contradiction to the overall diversity. I actually think (in case I wasn't already clear enough!) thats a good thing, a sign of how far America has come from Jim Crow and all that; at the same time, all of them have had terrible policies, in my view! As will Kerry, almost certainly, though I must say its rather quaint you're still trying to swiftboat him...
9 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 28th, 2012 - 02:30 am Report abuse
And the State is chosen by each and individual President, each person comes to the office with different credentials. They were terrible policies if you are not an American, face it, our policies are not based on other countries needs. And most noted, they do not create policies, merely carry them out of the Executive Office.
Unless you ever walked in boots, with TA50 gear and a ruckshack, you will never know why past soldiers think of him what they think.
Kerry makes decisions with the wind, he might just be a asskiss to South America.....if the Administration changes tack on South America. Clinton will be missed as she proved to be one of America's best Secretary of State.......based on the opinions of a vast amount of world leaders.
And you did miss one more white man in the mix
10 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 28th, 2012 - 09:51 am Report abuse
“And you did miss one more white man in the mix”

11 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 28th, 2012 - 12:52 pm Report abuse
He hardly counts but nonetheless he does. But either way that was quite the racist statement. If you look at one cabinet position and make a “color of skin ” statement as opposed to looking at each of the President's entire cabinet makeup.
We also have 13 senators and 27 reps with duel citizenship, because their parents where born in another country, but they were born in the USA. We also have 30 hispanics in congress....some born in Cuba, Albio Sires, though can never be President. The point is that your statement of race is deplorable, even for you BK.

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