President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus.
Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with the transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
That of course means Scott Brown will get another crack at the Senate, this time to fill Kerry's seat. Fun. Republicans are already talking about sinking both nominations, too.
Rice, one of an inner circle of aides who have been with Obama since his first presidential campaign in 2007, is under particular fire over the Benghazi incident, in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Some Republican lawmakers have suggested that she was part of what they suspect was an initial election-related attempt to portray the attack as a peaceful demonstration that turned violent, rather than what the administration now acknowledges was an organized terrorist assault.
Rice’s description, days after the attack, of a protest gone wrong indicated that she either intentionally misled the country or was incompetent, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday. Rice, he said, “would have an incredibly difficult time” winning Senate confirmation as secretary of state.
Kerry too would face a tough road to the Pentagon.
The idea of Kerry heading up DoD was also questioned by Republicans, who warned the selection of the Vietnam veteran-turned-critic wouldn't be simple either.
"He'll run into a buzz saw of Vietnam vets" if Obama taps Kerry for the pentagon slot, a GOP aide said.
A Senate GOP foreign policy aide predicted that ultimately both could be confirmed, but not without a protracted and ugly confirmation fight for the White House — a difficult way to start off a second term.
Let's be honest here, Republicans are going to make a protracted, bruising fight over anyone the President nominates. So when I hear nonsense like this:
There has even been speculation in foreign-policy circles that the messy departure of Mr. Petraeus might prod Mr. Obama to consider nominating a Republican, like former Senator Chuck Hagel; a hawkish independent, like Senator Joseph I. Lieberman; or even Jon M. Huntsman Jr., who was Mr. Obama’s envoy to Beijing before running for the Republican presidential nomination. Mr. Huntsman dismissed the rumors of his candidacy as “idle hallway gossip.”
It makes me want to punch people in the face. If President Barack Obama nominated Joe F'ckin Lieberman for any cabinet position, I'd sign up for GOP black outreach programs immediately and I'm pretty sure all of you would disown me as a result. I would hope the President would stand up for himself more then that and I dismiss this beltway idiocy out of hand.
Stick with Rice and Kerry and trust in the party, Mr. President.