US President Barack Obama's administration is coping with underwhelming performance on various fronts according to officials cited in the New York Times on Friday, who suggested he may replace some senior administration officials - including US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"There is an inflection point in every presidency, and this certainly is a logical one, if the president feels he might be better served by some replacements on his team,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the paper.
Citing the Ebola crisis in Africa that has spread to a few isolated cases in America under Obama's watch, the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and tensions in Europe between Russia and Ukraine, the paper noted world events have already led Obama to make changes by bringing in Ron Klain to manage Ebola and Gen. John R. Allen to lead the coalition against ISIS.
According to the New York Times, Kerry and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "are struggling to penetrate the tightly knit circle around the president and carve out a place in the administration."
White House officials cited in the report said Kerry is out of sync with the administration, even comparing him to Sandra Bullock's role in the movie "Gravity" as an astronaut somersaulting through space, "untethered from the White House."
With Obama's backing Kerry has tried to force through peace talks on Israel on numerous occasions, even after his last attempt was torpedoed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in April when it signed a unity agreement with the terrorist organization Hamas - Kerry nevertheless blamed Israel for the collapse.
He has made several antagonistic statements against Israel, such as attributing the failure of "peace" in Israel for the rise of ISIS recruitment this month, and also reportedly orchestrating European boycott threats and threatening an intifada during the last round of talks
Hagel for his part was seen by officials as not saying much in policy meetings, with US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey taking more of a dominant role, leading to speculation that Hagel may not be long for the White House either.