The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations immersed in controversy after inconsistant and later proven to be inaccurate remarks after the Benghazi attack, Susan Rice, has withdrawn her name from consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Rice was reportedly the president’s first pick for the position, but was expected to face intense scrutiny from Republicans and the media should she had gone through the confirmation process. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is likely the most qualified Democrat for the position now, but President Obama and his party in the Senate would prefer that Kerry’s seat not go up again in a special election that could see Republican Scott Brown back in Washington.
Beyond Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense will likely open up again as Leon Panetta is expected to retire, and White House Chief-of-Staff will need to be filled as Jack Lew is reportedly the top candidate to replace Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Former Republican U.S. Senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel is being vetted for Secretary of Defense. Hagel is currently chairman of The Atlantic Council, an international affairs think-tank, and as a Republican in the Senate often clashed with his own party on the Iraq War, defense spending, and the role of the United States in world affairs.
On ‘Real News’ Friday the panel discussed the potential of Hagel and Kerry in these new roles, and what the rumors about these appointments say about how Obama will approach foreign policy in term two.