ANNOUNCEMENT about Senator John Kerry in the Roosevelt Room at the White House

Subject: Pool 3 — Kerry announcement, Roosevelt Room


President Obama announced his nomination of Sen. Kerry for Secretary of State shortly after 1:30 p.m. at a podium in the Roosevelt Room, with Kerry standing to his left and VP Biden and Teresa Heinz Kerry to his right.


Obama ignored three questions about the fiscal cliff and one about the well-being of Sec. Clinton, concluding his remarks by shaking hands with each person beside the podium and then ushering them out.


The president’s remarks were televised and the transcript is forthcoming. In short, Obama said he’d talked to Sec. Clinton today and found her in good spirits, and he paid a brief tribute to her tenure before introducing Kerry as “the perfect choice” to take the place of HRC.


Kerry’s “entire life has prepared him for this role,” Obama said. The veteran senator and Foreign Relations chairman is “not going to need a lot of on-the-job training.”


One thing you probably didn’t see on TV — Biden and T.H. Kerry entered the room first and stood before reporters for a couple of minutes before the president and Sen. Kerry came in. In the awkward silence, Biden turned to the pool and said he was there to announce the nomination of Teresa Kerry as Secretary of State. She then smiled and said, “another woman!”


Tom Donilon and Jack Lew were in the room for the announcement. They also declined to take questions.


Christi Parsons