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Newsweek.pl, Poland

Who Will Replace Clinton? In Search
of the New Secretary of State

Translated By Maciej Lepka

14 December 2012

Edited by Rachel Smith

Poland - Newsweek.pl - Original Article (Polish)

Last Thursday saw U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice withdraw her candidacy for the position of secretary of state as a result of Republican protests against her potential nomination. The current favorite for the seat is Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

In her letter to President Barack Obama, Rice asserted that the process of approving her as secretary of state would be "lengthy, disruptive and costly.” Later, she posted on her Twitter page that, "Those of you who know me know that I'm a fighter, but not at the cost of what is right for our country.”

Obama accepted her decision and availed himself of the opportunity to castigate the Republican Party for what he called “outrageous” attacks on Susan Rice. However, as the Associated Press wrote on Friday, he has been considering for a while whether nominating Rice would affect his support in Congress, on which he will have to rely during important votes. Influential Republican senators threatened to block Rice's nomination for secretary of state due to her handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

A few day after this tragic event, in which a U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other American citizens were killed, Rice said on TV that the attack was a manifestation of "a spontaneous protest" against an anti-Muslim movie directed in the United States. Rice seemed to be oblivious to the fact that, before she made her unfortunate statement, evidence had come out that the attack had been planned by Islamic terrorists. Rice's version – which was also the official stance of President Obama’s administration – was backed up during the briefing for U.S. Congress members by David Petraeus, the then-director of the CIA.

According to the Republicans, the government issued such an interpretation of the Sep. 11 attack to lead the society into the belief that Obama's war with Islamic terrorism is strewn with victories, which was extremely important given the impending presidential election.

Rice will remain the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., as she and President Obama have both confirmed. There is a possibility that she will be appointed to take over for Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Tom Donilon, as Donilon is known to be switching departments. However, according to the Associated Press, although it does not require the consent of the U.S. Senate to be ratified, this change will not go through in the near future.

It is believed that John Kerry has been willing to take over the Department of Foreign Affairs for years. He was one of the candidates for secretary of state at the beginning of Obama's first term, and has been visiting conflict sites all over the world on the president’s behalf. Further proof of his close relationship with the head of state is the fact that he would stand in as Mitt Romney during President Obama’s trial debates in the recent election season. What is more, it is next to certain that his nomination for secretary of state would be approved by Congress.

Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is a likely candidate for the position of minister of defense, as the Bloomberg agency announced on Thursday, citing well-informed sources. Hagel is currently one of Obama's main intelligence advisors.



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