Media Report: Obama Picks Kerry As Secretary Of State

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File photo of President Barack Obama, left, with Mass. Sen. John Kerry. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of President Barack Obama, left, with Mass. Sen. John Kerry. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – President Barack Obama has turned to the senior senator from Massachusetts to be the next secretary of state.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Sen. John Kerry will take over for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state for the president’s second term.  The Sun-Times, citing a source from one of its columnists, also reports that N.J. Sen. Robert Menendez would replace Kerry as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. No official announcement has been made by the Obama Administration about Clinton’s replacement.

The Sun-Times report comes shortly after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice removed herself from contention for the vacant cabinet position. Rice acknowledged that her appointment would bring about a contentious approval process that would drag on.

If Kerry is to be announced as the next secretary of state, it could clear the path for Neb. Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. Hagel, a Republican, was mentioned as a contender for Clinton’s job and could be the front-runner to replace Leon Panetta as secretary of defense.

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