Obama, Rice meet today at the White House - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Obama, Rice meet today at the White House

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Courtesy: ABC News Courtesy: ABC News

WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- On Friday, President Barack Obama and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice will meet at the White House.

This comes one day after Rice dropped her name from consideration for the nation's top diplomatic post, secretary of state. Senator John Kerry has emerged as the leading contender for secretary of state.

According to ABC News, sources say that even before Rice withdrew her name from consideration to be secretary of state, Senator Kerry had emerged as the leading contender, with the president convinced he would be the better secretary of state. No official decision has been made.

Kerry is a decorated veteran who served two tours of duty in Vietnam before his career as a lawyer and then in the U.S. Senate. Some republicans say Kerry may earn the secretary of state nomination, but he may face questions about past support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Rice's consideration came under fire after comments she made following the deadly September attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Rice suggested the attack was the result of protests to an anti-Islamic film.

President Obama also works to fill other key cabinet positions. Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, has emerged as the front-runner to serve as defense secretary.

The possible selection of Kerry and Hagel would put two decorated Vietnam War veterans -- one Navy, the other Army -- at State and the Pentagon.

Announcements could come as early as next week.

The White House released a statement by President Obama about Ambassador Rice. President Obama called Rice, "an extraordinarily capable, patriotic and passionate public servant."

Click here to read the statement from the White House.

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