It’s pretty much official, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) will be President Obama’s next secretary of state.
The official announcement is likely to be made Friday afternoon, according to two senior administration officials. Kerry, 69, is expected to breeze through Senate confirmation.
It would cap a contentious battle over Hillary Clinton successors. Initially, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was floated as a nominee but quickly drew GOP criticism for her her part in the the Benghazi incident and eventually bowed out of the running. Kerry was always a possible nominee and floated to the top when the opening became available.
Kerry and Obama have curried favor with each other over the years. When Kerry ran for president in 2004, it was he who gave a young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, the chance to give the keynote address at the Democratic convention. Throughout Obama's presidency, Kerry conducted diplomatic missions on his behalf.
Kerry is the chariman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Vietnam veteran.
The position of secretary of state is one of the top posts in a president's cabinet. Duties include supervising the State Department, engaging in high level negotiations with foreign officials, and advising the president on U.S. foreign policy.