Calling him the "perfect choice," President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Mass. Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State on Friday.
The announcement took place in the Roosevelt Room at the White House shortly after 1:30 p.m.
Kerry was joined by his wife, Tereza, and Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama said Kerry's "entire life has prepared him for this role," and added as Foreign Relations chairman he would not "need a lot of on-the-job training."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not attend the announcement. She is recovering from a concussion after a fall. Senator Kerry has served in the US Senate since 1985.
If Senator Kerry is confirmed, it would open up another U.S. Sen. seat here in Massachusetts and another special election date would be set.
Gov. Deval Patrick would set that date, likely to be in June. He would also appoint an interim Senator until the election.
Patrick did not say if he would demand an agreement that the interim senator not run in the election, but said he thought it was "unlikely" for someone to be both an interim senator and a "successful candidate."
Asked about how soon after Kerry's confirmation Patrick would make up his mind, he said, "I expect to narrow my own thinking so we can be ready." He also said, "I have a mental list." Patrick said he would probably not endorse in a special election primary. Patrick said "maybe" when asked if a member of the Kennedy family would be named interim senator.
The law calls for that special election to take place 145 to 160 days from the date that Kerry submits his resignation letter.
The move would then make U.S. Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren the new senior Senator in Massachusetts.
Who are potential candidates?
So who could potentially run for the seat? Recently, several Democrats have indicated interest.
Congressman Michael Capuano has said he would be interested. Other names that have been floated include Congressman Stephen Lynch, Congressman Ed Markey, and Ted Kennedy, Jr. Even actor Ben Affleck was quoted in a recent interview as saying, "One never knows" when asked if, in fact, he would consider a run.
On the Republican side, Sen. Scott Brown has hinted he is considering a run.
During his concession speech on November 6, Brown said "defeat is only temporary." During his closing speech on the floor of the US Senate, he said "Depending on what happens and where we go, all of us, we obviously may meet again."
Should Brown choose not to run, former Governor Bill Weld is said to be considering a run, though he has publicly denied it. Weld just recently moved back to Massachusetts from New York.
Sen. Brown's office did not return calls and emails sent by FOX 25.
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