President Obama shakes hands with Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, the president's choice to be the next secretary of state, as he makes the announcement at the White House on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. If Mr. Kerry is confirmed by his fellow senators, a special election will be held to fill his Senate seat. (Associated Press)

Photo by: Carolyn Kaster

President Obama shakes hands with Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, the president's choice to be the next secretary of state, as he makes the announcement at the White House on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. If Mr. Kerry is confirmed by his fellow senators, a special election will be held to fill his Senate seat. (Associated Press)