President Obama asked John Kerry to serve as his secretary of state a week before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice removed her name from contention, earlier than previously known, the Boston Globe is reporting.
âHe called me, actually a week before Susan got out of the thing,â the incoming Cabinet memberÂ told the GlobeÂ in a wide-ranging interview. âHe called me and said, âYouâre my choice. I want you to do this.â He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it.â
Obama initially seemed inclined to pick Rice as his next secretary of state. But as soon as her name was floated, critics pounced -- pointing not just to her public comments on the Benghazi attacks but also to her stakes inÂ companies that did business in IranÂ and her handling of African strongmen. Rice withdrew her name from consideration on Dec. 13.
By the time Obama asked Kerry to take the job, Rice had endured three weeks of public vetting and met with several of her Republican critics in an attempt to win them over.