President Obama Nominates Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State

Massachusetts Democratic will likely succeed Hillary Clinton.
6:57 | 12/21/12

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Transcript for President Obama Nominates Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State
Good afternoon ever want. You know what I took office our nation was engaged in two wars. And al-Qaeda was entrenched in their safe havens. Many of our alliances work bright and America's standing in -- world that's often. We're past four years but we've begun a new -- of American leadership. We end the war Iraq. Put the al-Qaeda for on the path to defeat. And -- winding down toward Afghanistan. We strengthen our alliances including an Asia -- -- coalitions to meet global challenges. And stood up for human dignity from North Africa to the Middle East to -- We still of course face great challenges but today I can say with pride that the United States safer. Stronger and more suspected in the world. In this work I've been grateful for an extraordinary national security team. Top dollar one has been a part of that and I'm grateful to him. Of course. -- most important people in this whole transformation has been our outstanding secretary of state. My friend sector Hillary Clinton. Hillary wanted very much to be here today but she continues to recuperate. I had a chance to talk to -- earlier today and she is in good spirits and could not be more excited about the announcement that I'm making. Over the last four years Hillary's been everywhere both in terms of her travels -- -- -- represented American more countries than in previous secretary of state. And threw her tireless work to restore global leadership. And she's looking forward to getting back to work. And I am looking -- -- paying tribute to her extraordinary service. In the days to come. Today though I'm looking at my second term. And I'm very proud to announce my choice for America's next secretary of state. John Kerry. In a sense John's entire life has prepared for this role. As the son of a foreign service officer. He has a deep respect for the men and women of the State Department. The role they play in advancing our interest and values. The risks they undertake and the sacrifices that they make along with their friends. Having served -- valor and Vietnam. He understands that we have a responsibility. To use American power wisely. Especially our military power. And he knows from personal experience that when we send our troops in harm's way. We must give them the sound strategy. -- clear mission and resources that they need to get the job. In an extraordinarily distinguished senate career and as chairman of the foreign relations committee. -- played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly thirty years. We turn the page on a decade of war he understands that we got to harness all elements of American power and ensure that -- are working together. Diplomatic and development. Economic and political. Military and intelligence. As -- the power of our values which inspired so many people around the world. There's just said we are an exceptional nation not because we say we are -- because we do exceptional facts. And I'd say that one of the more exceptional things we've seen in recent decades was when job helped lead the way along way. Folks like John McCain and others to restore our diplomatic ties with Vietnam. When he returned to the country working and so many others have fought so long ago it sent a powerful message. Of progress -- a -- Over these many years jobs earn the respect and confidence of leaders around the world he is not need a lot of on the job training. He has earned the respect and trust of his senate colleagues Democrats. And Republicans. I think it's fair to say that few individuals. -- as many presidents and prime minister is. Or grass or foreign policies as firmly as John Kerry and this makes him a perfect choice to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead. A personal level job has been a great -- a I've appreciated -- partnership in helping to advance so many of my foreign policy priorities including the ratification of the new start treaty. -- call us talents and diplomatic skills on several occasions. On complex challenges from Sudan. And south Sudan to the situation in Afghanistan and each time he has. Been exemplary. Of course I also have to say thanks because that John invited young Illinois State senator address -- Democratic Convention in Boston. I was proud to serve -- The foreign relations committee. Under the tutelage of Joseph Biden. And and where we all became friends. But of course nothing brings two people closer together -- weeks of debate -- Job -- report -- working with you instead of debating here. Finally I -- factories. As someone who came to this country as an immigrant she understands the shining values that America represents -- -- world. The former trooper at the United Nations she appreciates our interest can be advanced in partnership with others. -- thank you so much from their jobs or in this next. I have to say. I think newspaper. John and -- myself you know we just left and -- -- Funeral a man who exemplified the very best. The US senate tradition. And so I -- that job will be what the senate percent of the U law. And I think experts there have been some great child. An uncertain world will continue to test our nation. But even with all the challenges that we face I have never been more confident. More optimistic. That if we act with wisdom and with purpose. -- for guided by our values. And we -- what binds us. Together as Americans. The United States will continue. To lead in this world for our lifetimes. -- -- I'm very grateful that you agreed to take on this assignment. I'm confident that the senate will confirm you quickly. I guess you won't be able actually appear. And preside at the same time. So we'll have to figure out how that works. But I know that you're going to be an outstanding secretary of state. --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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