The PJ Tatler

Rice Says She'll be Working with Kerry on 'Obama's National Security Team'

US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who might’ve been standing next to President Obama at the Roosevelt Room podium today, responded to the nomination of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by saying the Foreign Relations Committee chairman has served “extremely ably.”

“America is fortunate that Senator John Kerry will be our next Secretary of State, once confirmed by the Senate. For over four decades, Senator Kerry has served extremely ably and demonstrated selfless commitment to our country,” Rice said in a statement.

Alluding to what a Rice term in that post would’ve looked like, she singled out his anti-war demonstrations as a qualification.

“From his heroic service in the U.S. Navy, his principled opposition to the Vietnam War, and his distinguished tenure in the U.S. Senate, to his wise chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Kerry has led tirelessly and effectively to advance U.S. interests and values around the globe,” Rice said. “I have been honored to work with him in the past, and I look forward to working closely with him again on President Obama’s national security team.”

And that could be a hint that she’ll come on board as National Security Adviser — a post not needing Senate confirmation — in Obama’s second term. Tom Donilon, who currently serves in that role, was at the Kerry announcement today.

“Like so many, I am also deeply grateful to Secretary Clinton for her exemplary service as Secretary of State,” Rice continued. “I admire her enormously and greatly appreciate her support and partnership as a valued colleague. Our nation owes Secretary Clinton an enduring debt of gratitude for her many years of outstanding public service. I look forward to witnessing the next chapter in her remarkable story.”