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Kerry Gets Committee's Backing For State; LaHood Leaving Transportation

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at his confirmation hearing last week. Zhang Jun /Xinhua /Landov hide caption

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Zhang Jun /Xinhua /Landov

No big surprises in these bits of news about President Obama's cabinet:

— The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as expected, this morning approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be the next secretary of state. Kerry, the committee's chairman, is set to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton after he gets the approval of the full Senate, which also is expected.

— Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the White House confirms, is leaving his post. LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois, is a Republican who agreed to cross party lines to work with the Democratic president. According to The Washington Post:

"There are a fair number of names being heard as possible LaHood successors, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, and National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman."