The new Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that President Barack Obama offered him the job as the nation’s top diplomat a week before embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice removed her name from consideration.
“He called me, actually a week before Susan got out of the thing,” Kerry told The Boston Globe in an interview
. “He called me and said, ‘You’re my choice. I want you to do this.’ He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it.”
In a news conference shortly after the November election, Obama vowed to battle Republican senators over the nomination.
Maybe threat of a potential showdown — with the president saying that if Rice’s detractors “want to go after somebody, they should go after me” — was for naught in light of Kerry’s revelation.
By the time Obama had approached Kerry, “Rice had endured three weeks of public vetting and met several of her Republican critics in an attempt to win them over,” The Washington Post reports.
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