President Obama is expected to formally nominate Sen. John Kerry as the next Secretary of State, according to a source familiar with the process.
“It’s now basically a done deal,” said the source.
The source said now that US ambassador to the UN has bowed out, Kerry will be named to the post shortly, possibly within days. But the timetable is not precise because the President would like to unveil a slate of national security nominees and right now not all of the picks are finalized.
A second source familiar with the process noted the President is also not going to imminently announce a new foreign policy team just as the nation is grieving over the tragedy in Connecticut.
One potential trouble spot to a smooth unveiling is the expected nomination of former Sen Chuck Hagel to be the next Defense Secretary. Hagel is facing some opposition over his posture toward Israel during his Senate days, though one source who has discussed it with Hagel said the betting is he is still on track to get it.
The slate of nominees is expected to also include the next CIA Director, a post vacated by the hasty exit of retired Gen. David Petraeus. Acting Director Mike Morrell and White House counterterror adviser John Brennan are in the running.