CNN reported on Saturday that President Barack Obama will nominate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
"This is coming to CNN from a Democrat who spoke with Kerry. And that same source says that this announcement could be made formal as early as next week," explained CNN White House correspondent Brianna Keilar.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a close confidante of President Barack Obama, withdrew her name from consideration as secretary of state on Thursday in the face of what promised to be a difficult Senate confirmation battle.
Rice had drawn heavy fire from Republicans for remarks she made in the aftermath of a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
"I am highly honored to be considered by you for appointment as secretary of state," Rice said in a letter to Obama. "I am fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively in that role. However, if nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly."
Many observers believe that Rice's decision has increased the odds that Obama would turn to Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, to replace Clinton when she steps down early next year.
Kerry called Rice "an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant," in a statement released after her withdrawal was announced.
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