A spokeswoman for Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 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 Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map 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 Ann AyotteAudit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years No, the US did not spend million on a gas station in Afghanistan 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 Ann WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee MORE (D) this January.