Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., speaks to reporters following a closed-door briefing on the investigation of the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, at the Capitol in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

President Obama will nominate Sen. John F. Kerry to be the next secretary of state, according to a senior administration official. An announcement was expected at the White House later Friday.

Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his selection all but guarantees a swift, smooth path to confirmation. The lawmaker has been a frequent foreign policy adviser and confidant to Obama, and his long experience means he has bipartisan advocates in the Senate.

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