Senator John Kerry (D-MA) was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Senator Kerry has chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, son of a Diplomat, and has served in the Senate since 1985. In announcing his pick, President Obama said, “John’s entire life has prepared him for this role.”
Senator Kerry is brought in the midst of a Congressional hearing on Benghazi. The other potential nominee, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, withdrew her name after Congressional Republicans criticized her initial accounting of the attack on the Benghazi consulate on 9/11 that killed four diplomatic personnel, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Secretary Clinton was scheduled to testify to the House Foreign Affairs Committee canceled after fainting and suffering a concussion due to having the flu. She was not present at today’s press conference.
It will be likely that Senator Kerry will be pressed on Benghazi during the confirmation process. Congressman Steve King (R-IA) urged Senator Kerry to investigate Benghazi and promised to encourage Senators to bring it up during the confirmation process:
I am confident Senator Kerry will be confirmed as the next Secretary of State and congratulate him on his appointment. The first difficult job for Senator Kerry will be to cooperate with and encourage a complete and thorough investigation of the Benghazi killings. Americans deserve a detailed timeline of all the relevant components both at and near the sites and also from any of the decision makers. We need to know everything from the Ambassador’s autopsy report, to what time the President went to bed that night, to the logistics of our military assets in the region. We need to clear up all these issues and get on with the business of foreign relations. I will ask senators to make these points during Senator Kerry’s confirmation hearings.
It is expected that Senator John Kerry will be confirmed by Senate.