By Amie Parnes - 11/13/12 02:46 AM EST
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.
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.