The former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate is in the mix.
The favorite to succeed Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, would face a difficult Senate confirmation process after her much-maligned explanations of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, meaning she could land instead as Obama’s national security adviser. That job that doesn’t require the Senate’s approval. Tom Donilon, who currently holds that position, and Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator, are among the other contenders.
The chances of another early favorite, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, are hampered by Democrats’ fear that Republican Scott Brown, who lost his Massachusetts Senate seat Tuesday, could win Kerry’s seat in a race to replace him.
Officials, however, are pointing to Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor, Obama’s ambassador to China and Republican presidential candidate, and the State Department’s current No. 2, William Burns.