Huffpost Politics

John Kerry: Obama Offered Me Secretary Of State Job One Week Before Susan Rice Withdrew

Posted: Updated:
Print

Incoming Secretary of State John Kerry said that President Barack Obama offered him the job one week before U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice withdrew from contention.

"He called me, actually a week before Susan got out of the thing," he told The Boston Globe in an interview published Thursday. “He called me and said, ‘You’re my choice. I want you to do this.’ He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it.”

Kerry's words counter conventional thinking that Rice was the top pick all along and that Kerry was offered the job only after Rice took her name off the list. His version of events, of course, puts him and Obama in a better light than if he was merely Obama's second choice.

Obama defended Rice against Republican critics who hammered her over Sunday show appearances after the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. She described the assault as retaliation for an anti-Muslim video, which reflected current intelligence thinking at the time.

Nevertheless, Rice withdrew from contention on Dec. 14 saying that her confirmation would be too "lengthy, disruptive and costly." The vast majority of Republicans embraced Kerry's confirmation.

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Secretaries Of State
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Boston Globe: Obama picked Kerry a week before Rice withdrew

Senate confirms Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state to succeed Clinton

Globally bound, John Kerry first retraces, recalls roots

Clinton And Koch — A Day Of Departures (The Note)

John Kerry and the restraint of American power in US foreign policy

Senate confirms John Kerry as secretary of state

Senate approves John Kerry for secretary of state by a vote of 94-3