Muskie and Kerry
In 1980 Secretary of State Cyrus Vance had resigned due to his opposition to the proposed "Eagle Claw" military mission to rescue the U.S. hostages being held in Iran. Operation Eagle Claw (The first ever use of the U.S. Delta Force) proved to be a complete failure and claimed the lives of six servicemen. U.S. prestige in the world was at an all time low due to the hostage crisis and the USSR flexing its muscles in Afghanistan.
Whoever assumed the duties of secretary of state was sure to be grilled in Congressional hearings and was not assured of confirmation by any means. Grudgingly, President Carter proposed the nomination of the late Maine Senator Edmund Muskie to be secretary of state. The U.S. Senate is a unique fraternity and they do not eat their own. Muskie's nomination was easily approved, saving face for not only for President Carter but also the State Department.
Moving ahead to 2012, four U.S. citizens, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, were massacred at Benghazi. The Obama administration and State department for several weeks fumbled any legitimate explanation as to why the massacre had occurred. UN Ambassador Susan Rice was sent as a sacrificial lamb to the Sunday talking head TV shows to explain away the massacre as a reaction to an obscure YouTube video. Having fallen upon the administration sword, Ms. Rice was proposed as the next secretary of state and whether competent or not to hold the office she was damaged goods. She soon withdrew from consideration.
Since the Benghazi incident, Secretary of State Clinton has pretty much dropped off the face of the planet and was unavailable for hearings on Benghazi due to a concussion. The Arab Spring has turned into the winter of Islam and democracy has been replaced by a theocracy in Egypt.
What does one do when the credibility of the State Department lies in shambles and any potential nominees to secretary of state face potential grinding and damaging testimony in front of the Senate?
The answer is simple and tried and true. You nominate John Kerry to be your secretary of state.
No nasty questions, no explanations for past actions (because he was not there), and no problems, because he is a U.S. senator and a member of the club.
One small caveat is that the nomination of Kerry may be held up, pending Hillary Clinton giving testimony concerning Benghazi to the U.S. Senate. This conjures up images of the Great Awakening sermon "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards. And yes, the image of Hillary dangling as a spider above a candle flame is quite amusing.