Kerry Eyed as Defense Secretary

Susan Rice leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton, insiders say

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 13, 2012 2:05 AM CST | Updated Nov 13, 2012 5:00 AM CST

(Newser) – With Leon Panetta saying he'd "like to get back to California," President Obama is looking hard at John Kerry as his replacement at the Pentagon, reports the Washington Post. The move would be part of a major Obama administration shake-up that would include a permanent replacement for scandal-hit Gen. David Petraeus as director of the CIA. Officials say John Brennan, Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, is the leading candidate for the CIA position.

Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has long been mentioned as a possible replacement for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, but insiders say that position is likely to go to Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations. But Rice would face stiff opposition from Republicans because of statements she made after the Benghazi attack suggesting it was a protest gone wrong instead of a terrorist attack, the New York Times notes.

US United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice speaks at the United Nations.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
Sen. John Kerry speaks on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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