NY Times: Obama to Name John Kerry Secretary of State 

A senior administration official tells The New York Times that the president will name Kerry to secretary of state.

President Barack Obama will name John Kerry as secretary of state for his second term, a senior administration official has told the New York Times.

The Associated Press also reported the news, saying Friday morning that the president is expected to nominate Kerry later in the day.

Kerry's replacement as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Earlier this month, UN Ambassador Susan Rice — considered to be a frontrunner for the secretary of state post — withdrew her name from the list of candidates to take over from Hillary Clinton.

Senate Republicans had criticized Rice for comments she made after the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which she referenced in her withdrawal letter to Obama.

"If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly — to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," she said Thursday night, The Telegraph reported.

Obama accepted Rice's resignation and said he deeply regretted what he called "unfair and misleading attacks" over her response to the crisis in Benghazi.

Kerry had previously played a large role in Obama's political life when he chose then-Illinois legislator Obama, seeking a seat in the Senate, to give the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention, USA Today said. Many consider that speech to have launched Obama's national political career.

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