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In The Loop
Posted at 12:14 PM ET, 11/13/2012

Kerry surprised by possible Pentagon offer

(Steven Senne - AP)
We’re hearing that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was, let’s say, a bit surprised at news that President Obama was thinking about asking him if he wanted to be secretary of defense, instead of secretary of state.

Worse yet, the buzz was that Susan Rice, a former assistant secretary of state and now ambassador to the United Nations, was said to be the odds-on favorite for that fine seventh floor office at Foggy Bottom that Kerry set his sights on.

Best we can tell, Kerry, though a Vietnam veteran, has hardly expressed any interest in the Pentagon job and, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the last four years and a senator for 28 years, really, really wants State.

But, as we’ve noted, Obama really, really wants to put Rice at the State Department. And names are already being floated for a replacement for Rice at the United Nations.

And it would be hard to turn down the Pentagon job.

So, let’s see. Kerry leaves the Hill and outgoing Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) most likely will be happy at the possibility — or likelihood — of being incoming Sen. Scott Brown after an election within a couple months or so, for Kerry’s seat. (Unless he runs for governor.)

Meanwhile, incoming Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would be the senior senator from Massachusetts “on day one.”

By  |  12:14 PM ET, 11/13/2012

Tags:  John Kerry, Susan Rice, President Obama, State Department, secretary of state, Pentagon, secretary of defense, united nations, Elizabeth Warren, Scott Brown, Al Kamen, Emily Heil, In the loop

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