The Massachusetts senator and dedicated Obama supporter was left out of the mix Monday when the President-elect announced members of his national security team, giving shape to two-thirds of his cabinet.
If John Kerry was hoping to be part of President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet, he’ll almost certainly have to settle for the consolation prize: a powerful chairmanship in the U.S. Senate.
The Massachusetts senator, who endorsed Obama early in the presidential campaign, was left out of the mix Monday when the president-elect announced his national security team, giving shape to two-thirds of his cabinet.
By Cristina Corbin
Kerry — who ran for president in 2004 and lost by 34 electoral votes — made Obama the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention that year, helping make Obama, who was running for Senate in Illinois, a rising star within his party. Four years later, Kerry became a staunch supporter of Obama and became one of his top surrogates.
In the days following the Nov. 4 election, Kerry was rumored to be on Obama’s short list for a post within the new administration — including the highly coveted position of secretary of state, which Obama gave to Hillary Clinton.
Soon after the official announcements were made on Monday, Kerry issued a statement praising the picks — appointments that he will preside over in confirmation hearings when he replaces Vice President-elect Joe Biden as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“President-Elect Obama has chosen a terrific national security team to protect our security and help restore America’s rightful place in the world,” Kerry said in a press release.
“As the incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I look forward to working with my distinguished colleague Sen. Richard Lugar to ensure a swift and fair confirmation process and working closely with the new Administration,” he added.
Kerry said Clinton will “bring her years of experience and her remarkable intellect to the effort to restore our alliances and advance the President’s agenda in the world.”
But there is reason to suspect that Kerry might have preferred a high-profile position within the Obama administration.