The decision of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to withdraw her name from consideration as the successor to Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department has increased speculation that President Barack Obama will turn next to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as America’s top diplomat.

Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, has long been seen as a possible successor to Clinton.
He has friends on both sides of the political aisle and, if nominated, would face minimal difficulty in winning confirmation when the new Senate convenes in January.

As a face who is familiar in capital around the world, Kerry would bring decades of experience in dealing with America’s foreign policy conundrums, including Syria, the Middle East peace process, North Korea, and relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Kerry ran for president in 2004, narrowly losing to the incumbent President George W. Bush.

Clinton is recovering at home after fainting due to dehydration from a stomach virus and getting a concussion, a U.S. State Department spokesman said on Saturday.