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John Kerry to be Named as Secretary of State Nominee Today

The widely expected nomination of Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State is happening this afternoon, the NYT reports:

KerryPresident Obama plans to nominate Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts as secretary of state, a senior administration official said, succeeding Hillary Rodham Clinton and putting in place the first member of his second-term national security team...

...The decision by Mr. Obama, expected to be announced early Friday afternoon, comes at a time when Mrs. Clinton has been recovering from a concussion suffered earlier this month. Mrs. Clinton, who has long said she would leave the post after Mr. Obama’s first term, is not expected to attend the announcement.

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  1. He will do fine, but I still wish Hillary would have continued, but at the same time, I understand she wants to stay at home after four years of endless traveling.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Dec 21, 2012 11:09:54 AM

  2. Giving the Republicans Kerry's Senate seat is a quid pro , but what's the, quo.

    Posted by: mikeflower | Dec 21, 2012 11:53:46 AM

  3. Great. He can bore friends and foes alike.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 21, 2012 12:32:12 PM

  4. This is a sop to the racist, sexist good ol' boys (the philandering John McCain and the c0ck-sucking Lindsay Graham) against a young, accomplished woman of color, who they believe hasn't paid her dues, and hasn't deferred to their supposed superior foreign policy expertise. (Far from it--love the story about how she literally flipped off the late Richard Holbrook in a meeting when he spoke condescendingly to her.) From their perspective, at least, if they can't put Obama in his place, then they can put Susan Rice in hers.

    Kerry is a pompous wind-bag of a loser. I suppose that tactically, it's not necessarily a bad move to let a Democrat governor pick his successor, and give that person an opportunity to establish him/herself in office before the 2014 special election.

    Would love to see Sen. Susan Rice, D-Massachusetts, sidle up to John McCain in the Senate cloakroom sometime in the near future and say "Hey, Boss! Bottom rail on top!"

    Posted by: Bottom Rail | Dec 21, 2012 12:42:44 PM

  5. Bottom Rail - you seem confused on several points. First, let me say I agree with you on McCain and Graham and that whole nonsense. That said, Susan Rice is total amateur hour. She was appointed under Albright at like 32 years old to a position she was unqualified for because she as Albright's goddaughter.

    Now don't get wrong - again, I don't care what McCain or Graham think. But I'm glad Susan Rice isn't replacing Hillary Clinton. And John Kerry might be a windbag, but he's pretty well versed on American foreign policy. I think it's a shame to see him leave the Senate. But to another point, there will be a special election NEXT year to replace him (not 2014). Deval Patrick does NOT get to choose a replacement. So Scott Brown might be on his way back (assuming he isn't planning to run for Governor in 2014). Kerry's term was up in 2014 so MA will waste tons of money to have a special election and then have a real election the very next year. There are some strong Dem contenders in MA, so we'll see. But the governor there doesn't replace Kerry. And you know why? Because the Dems in MA passed a law allowing for just this type of special election when they thought Kerry would win the White House in 2004 and they didn't want Romney to pick his replacement. Now it's entirely possible this will put Scott Brown back in Congress. Again. It won't matter. Dems will retain the Senate and in 2014, it's all up for grabs again.

    Posted by: Kennedy | Dec 21, 2012 1:10:27 PM

  6. @ "But to another point, there will be a special election NEXT year to replace him (not 2014). Deval Patrick does NOT get to choose a replacement"


    you had me Googling like crazy because of your above statement.

    Doesn't the governor of Massachusetts appoint a temporary replacement? And then there is a special election 145 days after that temp takes office? Then the regular election for that senate seat would happen in 2014.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 21, 2012 1:45:03 PM

  7. Yes, obviously someone would fill in like Paul Kirk did after Kennedy died. But you're talking four to five months. But that is not actually required by the law (unless it has been amended since Kennedy's death). The MA Gen Court reinstated the Governor's ability to appoint the interim Senator until the special election is held. I'm not sure what the actual requirement is for when the special election can be held, but at least in Kirk's case, he had already committed to not running for the seat at the end of the interim period. The Republicans actually tried to challenge the court's decision to allow Patrick to appoint Kirk.

    In any case, it's an interim selection by the governor at best until the special election, it isn't a replacement to finish the term. And the special election would happen very soon after Kerry's exit, not 2014.

    They may very well decide to change it again since his seat was up in 2014 anyway. Maybe the MA Dems will reverse course, allow Patrick to select a replacement to finish out the entirety of Kerry's term and then have a normal election in 2014. I imagine this will get to court again.

    It mattered more when Kennedy died too because that cost the Dems the supermajority in Congress. Republicans might not put up much of a fight here since there is no change in balance of power in the Senate until 2014 either way.

    Posted by: Kennedy | Dec 21, 2012 1:56:56 PM

  8. I was also just pointing out that the idea that Patrick would pick someone who would then have nearly two years in that spot to run again in 2014 is not true. I'm pretty sure unless the law was amended, technically Patrick can but is not required to appoint anyone. MA would just have one senator voting until the special election. But the court will allow him to appoint someone and it would likely be someone, like Kirk, who has no aspirations to replace Kerry or run for the seat in the special election. But we'll see. In any case, it's a max five month appointment, not November 2014.

    Posted by: Kennedy | Dec 21, 2012 2:00:37 PM

  9. @Kennedy:

    Thanks. Your explanation was more informative than the ones I found by googling.

    Hey, is your last name Kennedy? Of THEE Massachusetts Kennedys? Well, what are you waiting for? Tell Governor Patrick you're ready to do your duty.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 21, 2012 2:20:59 PM


    "Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to announce very soon a date for a special election to replace Mr. Kerry as well as a pick for a caretaker to serve for a few months until the winner of the special election is sworn in."

    Posted by: Bottom Rail | Dec 21, 2012 2:31:44 PM

  11. >Silently extends middle finger toward 'Kennedy'. <

    Posted by: Bottom Rail | Dec 21, 2012 2:32:47 PM

  12. This is a good choice. John Kerry is respected around the world and is not an extremist.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Dec 21, 2012 7:07:01 PM

  13. Kerry is more than fit for the job

    Posted by: Reality | Dec 21, 2012 7:28:30 PM

  14. An outstanding choice for Sec of State. A wounded warrior who believes that the use of our military forces should always be our last resort. If joined by Chuck Hagel, another wounded warrior with the same reluctance to get involved in war, as Sec of Defense, this nation foreign policy will be in good hands.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 22, 2012 3:41:06 AM

  15. I think it's appropriate that there be an interim election. Let the Dems and Repubs fight it out, and the best man/woman win. Better still, be interesting if an independent won. Not going to happen, they don't have enough $ to compete for a senate seat. Our political system is owned by 2 parties: Democrats and Republicans, and in most instances they're two side of the same coin. And they in turn are owned by and handful of powerful special interest groups. Those special interest groups don't really care most of the time which party and who wins, they care of they own the candidate and have influence at least at the national level inside the party. Much of the stuff the media pushes and people get outraged and distracted over aren't really the main and important issues. The powerful cliques who control our society [same in other countries] like it this way:

    Mr. Obama: when are we going to wind down our endless wars? When is your DOJ going seriously crack down on financial services and white collar crime? When are they going to CRIMINALLY prosecute financial services and banking crime, not just levy fines?

    Republicans: You claim you want smaller government and fiscal tightening...lets start with our obscenely bloated military-Industrial-congressional-academic complex, and if not, why not? Ditto Democrats.

    Nah...let's just discuss 'gun crime', gun control, gay marriage, appointing people of the right politically correct skin tone and gender to public office, etc., Much easier subjects.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 22, 2012 12:31:22 PM

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