Secretary of Defense John Kerry?

Nov. 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama is considering Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the 2004 presidential nominee, as his next defense secretary, officials said.

While Kerry, who helped prep the president for his debates with Mitt Romney, has long been thought to have his eye on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's job, the nation's next top diplomat is likely to be Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan is being considered to head the CIA, but if he chooses to leave government, acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who took over upon the resignation of David Petraeus, likely would take the job permanently, the newspaper said.

If Kerry is not selected to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the position could go to Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter or former Undersecretary for Defense Policy Michele Flournoy, the Post said.

Vice President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Antony J. Blinken, and the National Security Council's senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights, Samantha Power, are two possible replacements for Rice at the United Nations.

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