Who will be on Obama’s new foreign policy dream team?

Speculation is heating up in Washington corridors about who will be crowned the new secretaries of state and defense

From Jo Biddle, AFP:  A week after winning re-election President Barack Obama has yet to reveal his new White House dream team amid fierce jostling for coveted posts key to shaping America’s foreign and defense policy.

Speculation is heating up in Washington corridors about who will be crowned the new secretaries of state and defense, with veteran Senator John Kerry, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon the odds-on favorites to be among the new cabinet faces. . . .

Kerry, the longtime chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with foreign policy stamped into his DNA, is a well-known, respected figure in international circles and has long dreamed of becoming secretary of state.

But the outspoken, feisty Rice is part of Obama’s inner circle and has been a loyal champion of US foreign policy at the UN. US dailies reported her nomination to replace Hillary Clinton may almost be in the bag.

Kerry might instead be tapped for the Pentagon to take over from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, both The New York Times and The Washington Post said, quoting White House officials. . . .

Too many questions remained unanswered and "Susan Rice would have an incredibly difficult time getting through the Senate," veteran Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday.

"It depends whether the president wants her bad enough in that position to go… fight" for her, Barry Pavel, director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, told AFP. . . .

Obama, however, may also have a surprise in store as in 2008 when he picked Clinton, his fierce foe in the Democratic primary race, and kept defense secretary Robert Gates in his post as a holdover from former president George W. Bush’s administration.

Republican names circulating include former secretary of state Colin Powell, Chinese speaker Jon Huntsman — who was appointed US envoy to Beijing by Obama — and former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.

"It’s the kind of thing a pragmatic President Obama might do," Pavel said.  (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Image: getty%2011%2016%2012%20Obama%202nd%20forpol%20team.jpg