Obama nominates John Kerry as next secretary of state

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – President Barack Obama yesterday nominated John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, calling the veteran U.S. senator the “perfect choice” for America’s top diplomat as he began reshaping his national security team for a second term.

Obama settled on Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, after the front-runner, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, withdrew from consideration last week.
Even as Obama put one important piece of his revamped Cabinet in place, he held off on naming a new defense secretary. The delay came in the face of a growing backlash from critics of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who is considered a leading candidate to replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon.

With Kerry standing at his side, Obama expressed confidence that the senator – a stalwart supporter who has long coveted the State Department job – would win swift confirmation from his Senate colleagues.

“As we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands that we’ve got to harness all elements of American power and ensure that they’re working together,” Obama said. “John’s earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world. He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training.”

The announcement fell short of the White House’s earlier hopes of rolling out national security appointments, including a new CIA director, all at once before Christmas. That ambition was thwarted not only by the Hagel controversy but other matters that have occupied Obama’s attention – the standoff over the “fiscal cliff” and last week’s Newtown gun massacre.

Kerry, 69, will take over from Clinton, who has been consistently rated as the most popular member of the president’s Cabinet.

But he will also have to pick up the pieces after a scathing official inquiry found serious security lapses by the State Department in the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya – a report that has tarnished the final days of Clinton’s tenure.

More in World News

Protestors march against Hillary Clinton (Reuters/Dominic Reuter)

Sanders backers revolt on raucous opening day at US Democratic convention

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Supporters of Bernie Sanders disrupted the first day of the Democratic convention yesterday, repeatedly chanting and booing mentions of Hillary Clinton’s name as the party’s hopes for a show of unity dissolved into frequent chaos.

Daniel Barrera Barrera

Colombian drug kingpin sentenced to 35 years in US prison

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Colombian drug kingpin was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in a US prison for engaging in a multimillion dollar scheme to manufacture hundreds of tons of cocaine that he trafficked throughout the world.

default placeholder

Japan official says 19 in ‘cardiac arrest’ after knife attack

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nineteen people are “in a state of cardiac arrest” after an attack by a knife-wielding man at a facility for the disabled in Kanagawa prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, a prefectural official said today.

default placeholder

Olympic plotters saw ‘opportunity to reach paradise’ -prosecutor

CURITIBA, Brazil (Reuters) – Twelve Brazilian suspects arrested for discussing a potential attack during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were “no joke,” the prosecutor for the case told Reuters yesterday.

default placeholder

Shooting at Florida nightclub leaves 2 dead, up to 16 wounded

(Reuters) – At least two people were killed and more than a dozen others, many of them teenagers, were wounded in a shooting early on Monday outside a Florida nightclub that was hosting a party for all age groups, authorities said.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Democrats in disarray on eve of convention to nominate Clinton

PHILADELPHIA,  (Reuters) – The head of the Democratic Party resigned yesterday amid a furor over embarrassing leaked emails, hoping to head off a growing rebellion by Bernie Sanders supporters on the eve of the convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for the White House.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: