Secretary Clinton announced her decision earlier this year, telling State Department employees that she needs a break. "I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur, but I think after 20 years of being on the high-wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be probably a good idea to just find out how tired I am," said Clinton.
Since the president's re-election, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says that is still the plan. "You’ve heard her say many times that she intends to see through a transition of a successor and then she will go back to private life and enjoy some rest and think and write and all those things," said Nuland. So who will President Obama choose to replace her?
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is a leading contender. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, he is active in U.S. policy abroad, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan. As a former presidential candidate, he has some of the celebrity that Clinton uses to advance U.S. goals.
He is the man who President Obama chose to help practice debating Republican candidate Mitt Romney, and the Obama campaign used Kerry in an anti-Romney video. "Romney just says things that are not true or irresponsible and is willing, for politically expedient reasons, to put at risk our foreign policy," said Kerry. Kerry's obstacle may be his Senate seat. Any president who chooses any senator for a Cabinet post considers whether the ruling party can keep that seat in the legislature. Especially in a chamber with such a small majority as the current Senate.