Vietnam vet Kerry to be Secretary of State
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Vietnam vet Kerry to be Secretary of State

Washington : DC : USA | Dec 21, 2012 at 8:41 AM PST
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit South Korea and Vietnam next week

President Obama nominated Vietnam War veteran John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, Boston.com reported.

The nomination is likely to have the support of Republicans in the US Senate. John McCain, also a Vietnam veteran, had urged Obama to nominate Kerry.

"You have a guy who, from his earliest days, has been schooled in America’s international role, both in war and in peace making,” said Max Cleland, a former senator from Georgia and a close friend of Kerry’s. “He was born to be secretary of state. What you got here is a very rare human being who has been through the throes of the damned in war and in politics in a presidential election, and who has survived it all to come out on top.”

Clinton had said she wanted to retire, and a week ago showed the impact of all the traveling, including visits to more than 100 countries, when she fainted, struck her head and suffered a concussion.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had withdrawn as a candidate after being widely accused of misrepresenting what happened at the Benghazi consulate in Libya. She also was held partly responsible for the failure of the US to deal with the Rwanda genocide. She said the nation was lucky that Kerry had been chosen as Clinton's successor.

This week four State Department officials resigned after an investigation of the handling of security at the consulate.

Kerry, 69, lost a closely contested presidential election to George Bush in 2004. During the campaign he became the victim of attacks by war veterans who claimed he had falsely been awarded a Purple Heart for his naval service. In fact, Kerry received two Purple Hearts, while Bush stayed at home and served in the National Guard.

President Obama likely is counting on Kerry’s status to help him win approval from the US Senate without too much trouble. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is a Democrat, and likely will appoint someone from his party to replace Kerry.

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