Report: Kerry being considered to replace Panetta as Defense secretary

President Obama is considering nominating Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as Secretary of Defense, replacing Leon Panetta in the role, according to a published report.

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The move is "part of an extensive rearrangement" of Obama's national security team, the Washington Post reported Monday, and will likely include a successor for former CIA director David Petraeus, who resigned Friday amid allegations of an affair.

Kerry-- who helped Obama prep in the recent presidential debates -- is said to have been gunning for Secretary of State. But aides said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, will likely be the top candidate for the cabinet post, according to the report.

Officials said Obama's chief of counterterrorism, John Brennan, is in the running for the CIA job.



A consequence of Kerry being made a cabinet member would be a vacant U.S. Senate seat for Massachusetts. This could mean that recently defeated Republican Sen. Scott Brown would seek the seat and perhaps take it for the GOP.  

White House aides would not comment on the potential cabinet picks on Monday evening.