President Obama announced today that he plans to nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. The nomination comes days after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice announced she would not be considered in the wake of GOP pressure over her comments that the Benghazi attacks were caused by an anti-Muslim movie rather than an organized terrorist attack.
Both Kerry and Obama were attending the funeral of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) who passed away earlier this week. The president will make the nomination official during an early afternoon press conference on Friday.
Kerry's nomination came as no surprise given his foreign policy experience and his tenure within the Senate and Democratic Party. Kerry would need to be confirmed by his colleagues, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who let it be known he would block Rice's nomination if Obama were to have officially nominated her.
If confirmed by his colleagues, the post would be the fulfillment of a long and, for the most part, very successful political career. Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984, Kerry served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. However, after his service was complete, he became an outspoken critic of the conflict.
The Massachusetts Democrat has serviced on the Foreign Relations Committee throughout his career and became chairman in 2009. Kerry also was the Democratic nominee for president in 2004, losing to President George W. Bush.
However, if Kerry resigns his Senate seat to accept the secretary of state post, Sen. Scott Brown, who lost his seat to Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren in a bruising contest in November, would be a top contender in the special election to replace Kerry.
Under Massachusetts's law, Gov. Deval Patrick would appoint a temporary replacement upon Kerry's resignation. A special election would be called within the ensuing 145 to 160 days.
Edward Kennedy, Jr., son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, has also expressed interest in running for the post if vacated. A number of House members would mostly likely consider taking a shot at the seat.
The Senate will consider Kerry's nomination when they start their new session on Jan. 3.