The Washington Post

Kerry would have scores of top jobs to fill


He’s been a senator for 28 years, ran for president in 2004 and chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but Secretary of State-in-waiting Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) doesn’t have a large stable of foreign policy aides and pals to take with him should he be confirmed.

He’s likely to take a few aides — his Senate chief of staff, David Wade, his committee staff director, Bill Danvers, and former committee staff director Frank Lowenstein among them — with him to Foggy Bottom.

He’s also asked current deputy secretaries Bill Burns and Tom Nides to stay on for a while. Burns apparently will; Nides’ plans are unclear.

Plenty of jobs are potentially opening up as Hillaryland empties out. But sources say it’s most unlikely Kerry will be able to cut the same deal that Clinton had with President Obama, who gave her virtual carte blanche in hiring some 50 “principles” (assistant secretaries, undersecretaries), another 30 or so non-career appointees (senior officials not requiring Senate confirmation, such as chief of staff Cheryl Mills and all those special reps and such) and close to 100 lower-level aides.

Kerry will doubtless have substantial leeway in personnel matters, but look for much more White House input this time around in filling most of those jobs as they come open.

Clinton’s immediate office staff are expected to move out quickly, along with others in her coterie. Still, we’re hearing many top officials are wanting to stay on.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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