Washington: US President Barack Obama will nominate veteran Senator John Kerry, known for his relationship-building skills, as the next Secretary of State, a senior administration official said today.
69-year-old Kerry, currently the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a close confidant of Obama on foreign policy issues. President Obama will announce Kerry's nomination later today, the official said.
Kerry has decades of foreign policy experience, which has very often been praised by opponents Republicans. If confirmed, he would replace Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State, who is currently recovering from a severe stomach infection.
Kerry, the senior senator from Massachusetts and the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nominee, is noted for the experience, gravitas and relationship-building skills that could help him succeed as the United States' top diplomat.
He is expected to easily sail through the Senate confirmation process because of his long serving in the Senate and his good relationship with Republican Senators. This would be Obama's first nomination to his national security term for his second term.
Obama is scheduled to take the oath of his second term on January 21, 2013. On many occasions, Kerry has come to the rescue of the Obama Administration, especially when it comes to the US ties with Pakistan, wherein he travelled several times to mend the strained relationship including the one in the immediate
aftermath of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
He is also the author of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill that provided more than USD 7.5 billion in five years to Pakistan.