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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

The Shortlist For The Next Secretary of State

Jackie Mansky |
November 10, 2012 | 2:40 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (Creative Commons)
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (Creative Commons)
The top three candidates on the shortlist to replace U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she steps down from her position as Secretary of State are speculated to be Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), Tom Donilion, National Security Adviser and Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Voice of America reported.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass)

Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, rates  who is seen as a “key ally” of the Obama administration, has played a role in the administration’s foreign affairs, namely through his involvement with convincing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to agree to a runoff election in 2009 and negotiating a peace deal between warring factions in Sudan, the Boston Globe reported.

As a current senator however, he may not be tapped because President Obama may worry about losing the fragile Democratic majority in the senate. Former Republican Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who lose in a tightly-contested race for re-election would be in position to win Kerry’s vacant seat, should he be tapped, the Washington Post reported.

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Rice who is known for “her strong personality and passionate defense of Obama’s foreign policy at [the United Nations] Security Council and inter-agency meetings” may be the most likely nominee, according to some sources from the White House, Bloomberg Business Week reported.

Rice’s high profile and relationships with UN ambassadors from Europe, Russia and China are considered an asset, Bloomberg added.

However, Rice’s appearance on Sunday talk shows following the Sept. 11 attacks this year, where she repeated the claim that the violence was caused from the Internet video defaming Islam’s prophet Muhammad, might hurt her chances, Voice of America reported.

Tom Donilion, National Security Adviser

Donilion is seen as an insider who would be capable of aligning the State Department more tightly with the White House, Reuters reported.

However, Donilon whose name has “flown under the radar” might not have enough “high-wattage public diplomacy” to be the public diplomatic face for America, Reuters added.

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the Obama administration here.

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