A spokeswoman for Sen. John KerryJohn KerryCongress must press Qatar for highlighting hate preacher Egypt’s death squads and America's deafening silence With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach MORE (D-Mass.) dismissed questions surrounding his possible appointment to President Obama's cabinet, calling them a "ginormous waste of time."

"The speculation season is a ginormous waste of time. Senator Kerry's only focus is his job as senior senator from Massachusetts and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and that's not changing," Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth wrote in an email to The Hill.

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Speculation has been swirling over Kerry's possible appointment to either secretary of state or secretary of defense, as shuffling is expected to occur over the next year. Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonBiden: ‘Guys, I’m not running’ Trump says email hacking during election 'could've been China' or other groups Maxine Waters: ‘I’ve never seen anybody as disgusting or as disrespectful’ as Trump MORE has said she wants to step down and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is also expected to retire.

Kerry has declined to comment on whether he'd be interested in taking either post, but he has been known to want the State Department job. Lawmakers and Democrats familiar with his thinking have expressed surprise at reports that he's being considered for Defense secretary. That speculation began after talk that Obama may want U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Clinton.

One Massachusetts Democratic strategist and former Kerry campaign adviser said it was unexpected.

"Everyone got thrown for a loop with the Kerry, Defense thing here," the strategist said.

And Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteBottom Line How Gorsuch's confirmation shapes the next Supreme Court battle THE MEMO: Trump set to notch needed win with Gorsuch MORE (R-N.H.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told The Boston Globe she "certainly was surprised about hearing it."

If Kerry is appointed to either post, and if he chooses to accept the nomination, his seat would be filled by a special election. Such a situation would provide recently-defeated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) the opportunity to rejoin the Senate, after he steps down from his seat for Sen.-elect Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenObama makes 0K for speech at A&E event: report Van Jones: Obama should do ‘poverty tour’ Warren reads middle school students' letters on climate change MORE (D) this January.