With the decision by Ambassador Susan Rice to withdraw her name for consideration to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all eyes had turned to Senator John Kerry of Massachusettes to replace the former First Lady. Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times is now reporting that Obama has indeed tapped the former Navy officer to head the State Department.
With the retirement of Hillary Clinton, eyes had settled on both Ambassador Rice and Senator Kerry for the position. A series of partisan attacks and ridiculous accusations have dogged the ambassador since her name was first floated as a possibility. Her letter of intent to not seek or accept the position was a sad end to the GOP’s harassment.
Of course, Kerry also comes with a target on his back, with several neocons already calling him too anti-war and not enough of a hawk. But the bigger issue is that should Kerry be confirmed as Secretary of State, it would open up a window to allow Scott Brown to gain his senate seat in a special election.
The real issue here is that this demonstrates that the GOP has not yet learned the lessons of the 2012 election. They are getting what they want, without thought to the consequences of their actions. Their short-term sight, to block a highly qualified candidate in order to try and win a Senate seat next year, will bite them in the behind. Governor Patrick has already begun the vetting process to replace Kerry until the special election can be held next year to replace him in the Senate. The GOP is assuming Scott Brown will be an easy shot. They forget that for most of the past 50 years, one of the Senate seats for Massachusetts has been held by a Kennedy. And there are members of the Kennedy clan who would be more than capable of rising to oppose the already defeated Brown next year.
For Kerry himself, the Senator is tailor suited to the Secretary of State position. He served in the military, has served in the U.S. Senate, and even ran for President in 2004. He is uniquely qualified for the role for which he is now being considered. Secretary of State Clinton leaves behind some large shoes to fill, and Kerry is one of the rare people who could manage to fill them for President Obama.