President Barack Obama nominated Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to be Secretary of State today in a press conference at the White House.”He understands that we have a responsibility to use American power wisely, especially our military power,” Obama said of Kerry, adding that he will not need “a lot of on-the-job training.”
The move to nominate Kerry had been anticipated since U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for the position last week. Obama said he was “confident” that the Senate would approve Kerry quickly.
Kerry will succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Clinton is currently recovering from a stomach virus that caused her to fall and suffer a concussion last week. Obama said she wished she could be there for the announcement, but he had spoken to her and “she could not be more excited about the announcement I’m making.”
Obama joked that he was excited to work alongside Kerry, who had played the role of Republican nominee Mitt Romney in debate preparation during the presidential campaign.
“Nothing brings two people together better than two weeks of debate prep,” Obama said.
Last week, Rice came under increased scrutiny from Republicans because of her appearances on Sunday talk shows after the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, when she suggested that the attacks were a spontaneous demonstration in response to an obscure anti-Muslim YouTube video. That turned out to be false.