|Sen. John Kerry, picture courtesy Politico.com|
From CNN, written by Jessica Yellin -
President Obama has decided to nominate Sen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state and could make a formal announcement as early as next week, a Democrat who spoke to Kerry told CNN Saturday.
The expected nomination follows U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's decision to withdraw her name from consideration for the post. She dropped out of the running Thursday after weeks of criticism from Republicans about statements she made about the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The now-expected nomination of Kerry follows weeks of ultimately successful Republican efforts to undermine the potential nomination of Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, to the job.
|Ambassador Susan Rice, picture courtesy NPR|
Kerry is eminently qualified to be Secretary of State, as is Rice.
However, Kerry is a long-time member of a rather exclusive club, and Rice is not.
Rice is also a highly intelligent and educated African-American woman, characteristics that have never been used to describe the two biggest names fronting the anti-Rice smear campaign, Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham.
There are also partisan considerations at work here - by smearing Rice and clearing the way for Kerry to be nominated, a Senate seat from Massachusetts will open up. Under MA law, a special election would be required to fill the seat for the remainder of Kerry's term (thru the 2014 elections), giving Republican Scott Brown, a soon-to-be former senator (he lost to Elizabeth Warren in November) and friend of McCain and Graham (and Wall Street) an opportunity to vulture another stint in the US Senate.
Assuming that Kerry becomes Secretary of State, Obama and his campaign team will need to get behind the eventual Democratic nominee for the MA Senate seat and make that Brown (and McCain and Graham) aren't just defeated, but humiliated.
Otherwise, the Republicans, and everyone else, will know that the second term Obama can be rolled as easily as the first term Obama, and that will mark the end of any effectiveness he has as President.
And that won't just be bad for Obama and his administration.