Top Five Candidates for Secretary of State

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It is the most important position in the cabinet of any administration. It is a post that used to pave the way to the presidency but now mostly filled by career diplomats or long-serving politicians.

Having named his chief of staff, President-Elect Barack Obama now moves to fill his cabinet. His choice for Secretary of State should lend some insight into how he wishes to govern, his true intentions on bipartisanship, as well as his foreign-policy agenda. Also, just how big of a role Vice President-Elect Joe Biden will play in foreign policy decisions may be illuminated by this choice.

RealClearWorld has reviewed a long list of potential candidates and now narrowed it to a short list of five. His appointment must still be confirmed by the Senate, though with the Democrats owning a clear majority, little opposition is expected no matter whom he names.

Obama's choice will replace Condoleeze Rice, the nation's second female and second African-American to hold the post. Rice became the 66th Secretary of State after replacing Colin Powell in January 2005.

The following, in descending order, are the five most probable candidates for Secretary of State in the incoming Obama Administration:

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