The New Republic reports that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) agreed to back Barack Obama during the Democratic presidential primaries in exchange for the Secretary of State post in an Obama administration.

The magazine, however, attributes the deal to "the rumor mill."

It also suggests that Kerry could become the Senate Banking Committee chairman, a move that would continue the game of musical chairs currently being played in the Senate.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Thursday that he will remain as Banking Committee chairman. But he does have the option of taking over the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will be vacated by Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) when he becomes vice president. Kerry is the next member in line for the gavel on that committee, followed by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), a foreign policy liberal who has been less open to compromise than Biden, Dodd or Kerry.

On Friday, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) said he will step down as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. And Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is in danger of losing his post as Homeland Security Committee chairman after backing Republican John McCain in the presidential election.