John Kerry: Actually, Obama offered me the job at State a week before Susan Rice “withdrew”
posted at 2:04 pm on February 1, 2013 by Allahpundit
Kerry said President Obama offered him the job of secretary of state a week before United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from contention, an earlier timeline than has been previously reported.
“He called me, actually a week before Susan got out of the thing,” Kerry said. “He called me and said, ‘You’re my choice. I want you to do this.’ He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it.”
I think they’re right that it was a face-saving gesture, but was Rice the second choice all along or was she initially the first choice until O concluded that getting her confirmed was too much of a headache and got cold feet? He talked awfully tough in her defense when McCain went after her, but go re-read Ed’s post on December 5, written eight days before Rice’s “withdrawal.” National Journal reported that day that Obama was “genuinely conflicted” about whether to choose Rice or Kerry, but, per White House sources, Rice had the inside track:
Despite harsh criticism of Rice from Republicans, Obama is leaning hard toward her because she’s been one of his closest advisers since 2007, and “she and the president are on exactly the same page on all foreign-policy issues,” said an Obama team official who is privy to the transition discussions. “She represents Obama’s foreign policy in a way that Kerry doesn’t, in other words a new way of being a Democrat on foreign policy.” It was a reference to Obama’s carefully cultivated self-image as a tough commander in chief willing to apply diplomatic leverage to get what he wants and use power aggressively, especially covertly.
According to Kerry, O called him the next day (or thereabouts) to offer him the job. Sounds like cold feet.