Washington: US President Barack Obama is likely to nominate Senator John Kerry as his next Secretary of State, according to the media reports.
69-year-old Kerry, currently the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations committee, has been a close confidant of Obama on his foreign policy issues.
Many a times Kerry has come to the rescue of the Obama Administration, especially when it comes to the US ties with Pakistan, wherein he traveled several times to address the strained relationship including the one in the immediate aftermath of the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Author of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill that provided more than USD 7.5 billion in five years to Pakistan, the announcement for nomination of the Massachusetts Senator for the post of Secretary of State is expected to come as early as next week.
In 2004, he was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate and lost to then President George W Bush.
If confirmed by the Senate, Kerry would replace Hillary Clinton, who has announced to leave the post by the end of the first term of the Obama Administration, which is January 20.
Clinton, suffering from a stomach infection for the past week, yesterday fainted and sustained a concussion.
Her spokesperson said she would work from home till she recovers completely.
"While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion," said her close aide Philippe Reines, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. "She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors."
Media reports said Obama made up his mind to nominate Kerry for his next Secretary of State after his first choice Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, withdrew herself from being considered for the post.
Rice abruptly withdrew from the race after a stand off with the Republican Senators who had vowed to defeat her nomination. Obama accepted her decision.
Unlike Rice, Kerry is expected to easily sail through the Senate confirmation process because of his long serving in the United States Senate. Kerry has good relationship with the Republican Senators.
"Senator John McCain, recently jokingly referred to Kerry as `Mr Secretary`," the CNN reported.
Born on December 11, 1943 at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, Kerry is a graduate from the Yale University and later served in the US Navy during which he served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
Serving in the United States Senate for his first term, he was first elected as a Senator in 1984.
It was during the Democratic Party convention that Obama was given a chance to deliver a key note address, which brought him to the national scene.
Kerry is the tenth most senior Senator and the second longest serving Senator in his seat.
Because of his perceived pro-Pakistan tilt, many Indian diplomats and think-tanks consider him not that favorable to India, however, those close to him feel otherwise and consider him to be an strong advocate of India-US relationship.
He not only voted in favour of the historic civic-nuclear deal, Kerry has travelled to India several times in the past few years and has an understanding of India and considers New Delhi to be an important partner for Washington DC in the years and decades to come.