Entries in John Kerry (24)


Mass. GOP Buoyed by Dan Winslow Eyeing US Senate Vacancy

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Massachusetts Republicans got a glimmer of hope on Tuesday after days of rejections from heavy-hitting politicians weighing possible runs in the state's upcoming special election.

Republican state Rep. Dan Winslow said on Tuesday that he is forming an exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated when John Kerry went to head the State Department.

"Today I'm taking the necessary steps to form an exploratory committee to test the waters for the U.S. Senate," Winslow said in a statement on his website.  "We need to fix a broken Washington where progress is being hampered by partisan gridlock."

This is the closest a Republican has gotten to throwing his or her hat in the ring after a series of higher profile GOP leaders in the state announced that they would be staying away from the race.

Former Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who was seen as the likely front-runner for the GOP nomination, announced last week that he would be sitting out this round.  

His announcement seemed to open the floodgates for Republicans, kicking off a series of similar decisions from officials thought to be strong options for their party: Former Gov. William Weld, former state Senate minority leader Richard Tisei, former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey and Tagg Romney, the eldest son of Mitt Romney, have all said thanks but no thanks to the special election.

As for what's behind the steady stream of rejections, the bottom line is it's a steep hill to climb.  Any candidate will need to gather 10,000 signatures before the end of February.  That's a lot of names to gather in a short period of time, but presumably would not have been difficult for well-known candidates like Brown or Weld.  

Another concern is timing.  Massachusetts state law stipulates that the winner of the special election will fill out the rest of the term of the individual whom they were elected to replace.  And Kerry would have been up for re-election in November 2014, meaning that whoever wins that seat in June will face another election in just 17 months.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sen. John Kerry Closer to Being Confirmed as Secretary of State

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry could be cleared to be Secretary of State by the end of Tuesday.

By a unanimous voice vote Tuesday morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Kerry used to head, approved his nomination to take over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's post.

The nomination will now move to the full Senate -- likely as early as Tuesday afternoon -- for final confirmation.

After the vote, Kerry made an appearance in the Foreign Relations Committee room to a round of applause.  The Democratic senator, clearly touched by the moment, hugged members of the committee and said, “I am honored beyond words and I mean that.  What a privilege.”

Kerry added that the “urgency of our efforts cannot be overstated,” and said he looks forward to working with the committee in his new role.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Election to Replace Sen. John Kerry Likely June 25

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s confirmation for Secretary of State proceeding at a smooth and quick pace, the question now becomes who will replace him and when?

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin gave an answer to that second question this week, saying that the special election would likely be set for June 25.

Although the race is less than five months away, the only individual who has formally declared their candidacy so far is Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Malden, Mass.  Another member of the Massachusetts Democratic delegation, Rep. Stephen Lynch of South Boston, is also mulling a run.  Should Lynch decide to jump in, the two would face-off in a primary, likely scheduled on April 30.

The big question though remains will former Republican Sen. Scott Brown enter the race?  Reports from local sources indicate that Brown is actually leaning against trying to reclaim his Senate seat, which he left less than a month ago after losing his race to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in the fall.  

Instead, Brown is reportedly eyeing the governor’s mansion in 2014 as his next political target.  The seat will be open since Gov. Deval Patrick is term-limited.

In the period between Kerry’s confirmation and the special election, Gov. Patrick is expected to announce an interim senator.  That announcement could come as early as Wednesday, according to the Boston Globe.  Candidates in the running include the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Vicki Kennedy, and former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


John Kerry Tears Up During His Confirmation Hearing

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- First there were near-tears, and then a protester had to be forced out, but Sen. John Kerry took it all in stride.

Kerry choked up at his secretary of state confirmation hearings Thursday morning when discussing his father’s history in the U.S. Foreign Service, and how he was “equally proud” of both that history and his own as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“If you confirm me, I would take office as secretary proud that the Senate is in my blood, but equally proud that so, too, is the Foreign Service,” the Massachusetts Democrat told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington.

“My dad’s work under presidents, both Democratic and Republican, took me and my siblings around the world for a personal journey that brought home the sacrifices and commitment the men and women of the Foreign Service make every day on behalf of America.

“I wish everyone in the country could see and understand first-hand the devotion, loyalty and amazingly hard, often dangerous work that our diplomats on the front lines do.”

Republicans praised the Obama nominee Thursday,  with ranking member Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee telling Kerry that he’s “almost lived his entire life for this moment,” adding that he was “thrilled” Kerry was in such a position.

Kerry has served on the Foreign Relations Committee for 29 years, and would be the first committee member to ascend to secretary of state in more than 100 years.

At the end of his testimony, a woman wearing a pink ski hat began yelling about America’s role in the Middle East. “I’m tired of my friends in the Middle East dying,” she screamed while being forced out of the room by security.

Kerry, 69, was unfazed, recalling his own history of protesting against the Vietnam War when he first came to Washington. “I respect the woman who was voicing her concerns about the world,” he said, calling her outburst the right exclamation point to end his testimony and citing developments in the Middle East and Syria and how the world is watching.

“People measure what we do.”

He is expected to win the nomination and replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Barney Frank Seeks Senate Appointment

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- It’s only his second day of his retirement, and already Barney Frank wants back in the game.  The former Massachusetts congressman confirmed on Friday morning that he’s interested in the interim appointment to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat.

“A month ago, a few weeks ago in fact I said I wasn’t interested,” Frank said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Friday.  “But that deal now means that February, March and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial economy.”

Frank was referring to the agreement passed in the House and Senate this week that puts America past the so-called "fiscal cliff," but left the automatic spending cuts associated with the sequester slated to take shape on March 1.  Another Congressional head-to-head is expected in the coming months over those cuts, and Frank said he wants to be part of that fight.

“I’m not going to be coy; it’s not something I’ve ever been good at.  I’ve told the governor that I would now like, frankly, to do that because I would like to be a part of that,” Frank said.  ”Coach, put me in.”

Massachusetts election law dictates that a special election must take place between 145 and 160 days after an out-going representative has vacated their seat.  The special election will be one to watch, but in the interim time period it will fall on Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint an interim replacement to fill Kerry’s seat upon his confirmation as secretary of state.

The former congressman doesn’t seem to be interested in launching a new career.  Frank started the interview telling Joe Scarborough he planned to “write a couple books…give lectures, do some teaching and…basically run my mouth for money.”

Of the Senate appointment, Frank said, “It’s only a three-month period.  I wouldn’t want to do anything more.  I don’t want to run again.”

Frank retired this year after serving the state of Massachusetts for more than 30 years in the House.  Last year, he became the first sitting member of Congress to marry a same-sex partner with his wedding to James Ready.  If he is appointed, Frank would likely be a reliable liberal voice in the Senate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. Ed Markey to Run for John Kerry’s Senate Seat

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts announced plans on Thursday to run in 2013 for the U.S. Senate seat from his state that is expected to be available in the wake of Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s nomination to be the next secretary of state.

Kerry, the current chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Markey, who just won his 20th term in the House, issued a statement Thursday, saying in part, “I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate because this fight is too important.  There is so much at stake.”

“We need a Senator who will work with President Obama, and anyone else, to move our country and our Commonwealth forward.  I look forward to traveling to every corner of the Commonwealth and meeting with the people who make Massachusetts so great,” Markey said.

Kerry’s seat will be filled by a special election early next summer.  Two other Massachusetts Democrats have also expressed an interest in running for the Senate seat: Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, the moderate Republican who lost his bid for re-election in November to consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, is also expected to consider a run for Kerry's seat.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Kerry to Be Nominated to Succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will on Friday nominate Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state, likely succeeding Hillary Clinton, sources confirmed to ABC News.

Kerry, 69, the Massachusetts Democrat who was his party's nominee for president in 2004, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is unlikely to face fierce opposition from senators across the aisle.

Kerry's nomination is the only one expected from the White House Friday afternoon, although other cabinet members, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, are expected to leave the administration in the coming weeks.

An earlier possible State Department nominee, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, withdrew from consideration for the position when Republicans began to mobilize against her.  At issue was Rice's involvement in the Obama administration's response to the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Kerry's nomination will create an opening in the Senate. Sen. Scott Brown, the moderate Republican who lost his bid for re-election in November to consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, is expected to consider a run for Kerry's seat.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Kerry to Be Nominated to Be Secretary of State, Sources Say

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sources tell ABC News that President Obama has decided that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. to be secretary of state.

For a variety of reasons, including the finalization of the process, other pending Cabinet decisions, and — more immediately — the national reaction to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the news will not be announced in the next few days.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is recovering from an illness and a concussion she suffered upon fainting because of that illness, is set to retire in the next few weeks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Could There Be Another Senator Kennedy in Massachusetts?

Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has yet to choose his nominee for secretary of state, but Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is already making plans to fill presumptive nominee John Kerry’s Senate seat.

Knowledgeable sources tell ABC News’ Jonathan Karl that Patrick has had a discussion with one potential replacement for Sen. Kerry: Victoria Kennedy.  The sources say the governor talked to Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, about the possibility of replacing Kerry in the Senate and that she did not rule it out.

But don’t count on seeing another Sen. Kennedy from Massachusetts anytime soon:  A source close to “Vicki” Kennedy, 58, says she would be unlikely to accept the appointment.  But, again, she apparently has not ruled it out.

If Kerry is nominated and confirmed as secretary of state, Gov. Patrick would appoint somebody to replace Kerry in the interim period, until a special election took place.  Under Massachusetts law, that election would be held no later than 160 days (and no earlier than 145 days) after Kerry actually left the Senate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Kerry Nomination Could Create Musical Chairs for Scott Brown in Senate

State Department photo(WASHINGTON) -- News that Amb. Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for Secretary of State may have brightened the days of both senators from Massachusetts.

Prior to Rice’s withdrawal, she was considered one of the top two contenders for the job -- the other is Sen. John Kerry, and with Rice out of the running, Kerry is “all but certain” to get the nomination, according to ABC’s Jake Tapper.  That means a vacant seat and a special election, which could benefit out-going Sen. Scott Brown, who lost his bid for reelection to Elizabeth Warren in November.

Brown is widely expected to seek out his old job and he would be viewed as a strong contender, particularly in a special election to fill Kerry’s vacancy. Republicans have a tendency to perform better in special elections, which draw many fewer voters.

But it would be at least six months -- assuming that Kerry is indeed nominated as Secretary of State and assuming that Brown wins a special election -- before he could re-join the Senate.

Massachusetts law dictates that a special election cannot take place sooner than 145 days from the time an out-going Congress member’s resignation is effective, meaning that at least 145 days must pass between the date that member actually leaves their job and the date that the special occurs. At this juncture in time, even if Kerry is nominated tomorrow and has an incredibly quick confirmation at the beginning of the next Congress, the earliest conceivable date to reach this mark is in June 2013.

The special cannot occur more than 160 days from the time that the resignation is effective.

Brown’s victory in a special election would not be a sure thing. Although he leaves office with high approval ratings -- exit polls from the 2012 election showed him with a favorability rating of 60 percent -- but Massachusetts is a solidly Democratic state, and there are many Democrats in elected office in the state who could challenge Brown.

In an odd twist of political gamesmanship, the law requiring a special election instead of an appointment from the governor in the event of a vacant seat was passed by Democrats passed in Massachusetts in 2004 in case Kerry resigned if he won the presidency. He did not. But Democrats at the time were trying to take the appointment power away from the sitting Republican governor -- Mitt Romney.

A request for comment from Sen. Brown’s office on the news was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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