John Kerry

As expected, John Kerry, the senior senator from Massachusetts and former Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, has been nominated by President Obama to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of State in Obama's second term.
Kerry is popular in the Senate on a bipartisan basis. His confirmation should present few issues, especially since he has already gone through the even more severe vetting process of an intense and highly competitive presidential race.
And because of his detailed knowledge of many foreign policy issues, due to his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over the years, not to mention his presidential aspirations and his Vietnam military service at an earlier stage in life, he is also well placed to ensure thoughtfulness and continuity in American foreign policy in the months ahead.
Like Clinton, Kerry is diligent, hardworking, patient and pragmatic. Like her, while not necessarily personally close to President Obama at the outset of his Cabinet service, he is certainly on friendly and collegial terms with the commander-in-chief. He has been seasoned by the frustrations of dealing in intractable foreign policy issues for many years, yet is still idealistic and visionary on issues ranging from climate change to Middle East peace to global development.
Once confirmed, Kerry's challenge will be to help the president navigate some very demanding shoals in the four years ahead. They may be tougher than those the president had to face in his first four years.

Read the full story here.


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