Reports: Obama to pick Kerry for State

President Obama has decided to nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as the next secretary of State, according to news reports.

An unidentified source told CNN that a formal announcement could come as early as next week.

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ABC News, quoting unidentified sources, said news, including the mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, had delayed the announcement.

Kerry emerged as the favorite to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration.

ABC on Friday reported Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is already making plans to fill Kerry’s Senate seat and has already had a discussion with Vicki Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

The developments come after the State Department on Saturday announced that Clinton fainted and suffered a concussion.

“While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion,” deputy assistant secretary Philippe Reines said in a statement.

“She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors. At their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with department and other officials. She is looking forward to being back in the office soon.”

Clinton was due to testify before Congress on Dec. 20 about the investigation into the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

She will not testify as scheduled before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Jodi Seth, a spokeswoman for Kerry, the panel's chairman.

The State Department told Kerry of Clinton's concussion on Saturday morning, and, when he heard, Kerry insisted that she not attend the hearing.

"Senator Kerry was relieved to hear that the secretary is on the mend, but he insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear on Thursday as previously planned, and that the nation’s best interests are served by the report and hearings proceeding as scheduled with senior officials appearing in her place," Seth said.

Clinton deputies Tom Nides and Bill Burns will testify in her place before Senate and House committees.

--Russell Berman and Justin Sink contributed to this report. 

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