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Source: Obama has chosen John Kerry as Secretary of State

Supercommittee member Sen. John Kerry D-Mass. meets with reporters Capitol Hill WashingtThursday Nov. 17 2011 as he fellow Supercommittee members

Supercommittee member Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, as he and fellow Supercommittee members emerged from a closed-door meeting. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Updated: January 25, 2013 10:16PM

President Barack Obama has chosen Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to be the next secretary of state, a source has told Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed.

His replacement as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the Sneed source said.

This comes on the heels of Thursday’s announcement that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had removed herself from the list of candidates to take over from Hillary Clinton. Rice said that what was sure to be a contentious and lengthy approval process took attention away from more pressing problems facing the nation.

Sneed had tipped previously that Kerry is Clinton’s first choice for her old job-- and that Obama is interested in U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska for either secretary of state or defense.

Hagel, a Republican, is currently the top candidate for secretary of defense.

Michael Sneed

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