SOS John Kerry
WASHINGTON — As President Obama’s potential nominee for secretary of state, Susan E. Rice, comes under increasing fire, Congressional Republicans appear to be coalescing around a familiar name as an alternative candidate: their current colleague and former presidential foe, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Gone are the criticisms of Mr. Kerry as a waffler who tried to have it both ways on the Iraq war and the caricature of him as a windsurfing symbol of privileged East Coast liberalism. Instead, Mr. Kerry, a Democrat, is depicted as a deeply knowledgeable statesman who would breeze through confirmation on his way to Foggy Bottom.
“I think he would do a great job,” gushed Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska. “Anyone who has worked with Senator Kerry knows his good, hard work ethic and his expertise on foreign relations.” Ms. Rice, the United Nations ambassador, she added, “would face a lot of questions.”
Led by Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Republicans have pummeled Ms. Rice with a steady barrage of attacks over the Sept. 11 events in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.