Obama Nominates John Kerry for State Barring a confirmation surprise, he will replace Hillary Clinton By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Dec 21, 2012 1:09 PM CST 18 comments Comments Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., in a file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – The not-so-surprising leaks were right on the money: President Obama today picked John Kerry to be his next secretary of state, reports AP. "I'm very proud to announce my choice," said the president, adding that Kerry's whole life and career "has prepared him for this role." Kerry currently serves as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations panel and, barring any confirmation surprises, will replace Hillary Clinton next year. And who knows, it might just set up a battle between Ben Affleck and Scott Brown for his Massachusetts Senate seat.