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It Hurts To Be John Kerry Today

It must have been painful, but at least it was classy. Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) reaction statement to President-elect Obama's choice for secretary of state was the first to arrive in the Sleuth's inbox (besides, of course, Bill Clinton's).

"President-Elect Obama has chosen a terrific national security team to protect our security and help restore America's rightful place in the world," Kerry said.

The Massachusetts senator had once been considered the frontrunner to be Obama's secretary of state. Then suddenly he wasn't, when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) name surprisingly surfaced for the job. In his statement, Kerry said, "As Secretary of State, my friend and colleague Hillary Clinton will bring her years of experience and her remarkable intellect to the effort to restore our alliances and advance the President's agenda in the world."

Instead of traveling the globe and crafting U.S. foreign policy, Kerry will get the consolation prize of serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has jurisdiction over confirming Clinton and the rest of the national security team.

"As the incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I look forward to working with my distinguished colleague Sen. Richard Lugar to ensure a swift and fair confirmation process and working closely with the new Administration," Kerry added.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  December 1, 2008; 11:18 AM ET
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Looks like Senator Kerry is having a bad day. He's not the first. Here's a story he might read about bad days that could cheer him up. See "When it rains . . . " at

Posted by: saturdaymorningpost | December 1, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere between thinking about Bill Richardson, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton, I've come to realize that Democrats have a lot more foreign policy depth and talent than many give them credit for.

I personally like Richardson and Kerry better, but very few are saying that Clinton is unsuited for the job.

Posted by: DLiu | December 1, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, no I doubt it "hurts to be John Kerry today". Chairman Kerry is too busy for all that.

"The president-elect won't be there, but an Obama buzz will crackle through the conference hall when negotiators gather Monday for a final push toward a sweeping new global warming treaty.

''America is back,'' says Sen. John Kerry, underscoring that Barack Obama's election signals a U.S. intent to regain a leadership role on climate change.

''After eight years of obstruction and delay and denial, the United States is going to rejoin the world community in tackling this global challenge,'' said the Massachusetts Democrat, in line to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


Some 9,000 delegates, activists and researchers will attend the Poznan meeting, which ends with a two-day summit of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, 150 environmental ministers, and Kerry and other U.S. congressmen who are instructed to report back to Obama."

Posted by: beachmom | December 1, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I sort of doubt that you're giving Kerry due credit for being a grownup. Chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is a damned fine consolation prize, as consolation prizes go.

John Kerry has proven himself to be an honorable man. He will distinguish himself in the role that is now his. If he feels a need to cry in his beer, I greatly doubt he will have the poor taste to do so in public.

Posted by: lonquest | December 1, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I think HRC will be a helluva SOS, and I think she and BO will be a formidable team, along with the other chosen Nat. Security team.

Since being on the Armed Services Committee, HRC has immersed herself in foreign policy, and is now lauded by both Reps and Dems for her masterly grasp of foreign policy detail. Gen. Petraeus has spoken about Hillary being the most knowledgeable Senator with regards to the military. HRC knows world leaders by their first names, and has met many of them numerous times. HRC has been a strong advocate for the education and health of impoverished women and children worldwide, and she didn't stay in 5 star hotels when visiting those impoverished women...she stayed in the huts with dirt floors to learn as much as she could about their situations. HRC will work her heart out.

I am so sick to death of the media created drama surrounding the Clintons. I know the ratings game is necessary for survival, but the microscope is so disproportionately placed on the Clintons, it is really pathetic.

I am more impressed with BO than I expected to be. I am glad he knows he needs the Clintons and the other strong choices he has tapped for key posts. I was not a BO supporter, and was only persuaded by HRC's valiant efforts on his behalf, so for me to be impressed by BO(so far) says a lot.

Posted by: karenmb | December 1, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hilary, as with recent secretaries of state, will not stay at Foggy Bottom for more than one term, as her attention turns to her next presidential run. At that point, both John Kerry and Bill Richardson will have good shots at the position, if Barack Obama is re-elected to a second term.

Posted by: HTseng | December 1, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I was going to comment but karenmb has said it beautifully! Hillary Clinton has the depth, the brains, the talent for this job. I too have more respect for Obama. He's smart enough to know that he's going to need the best and the brightest on his team. It is a bittersweet occasion knowing how close she came to being president......... I'm excited for her for this new challenge. SHE WILL BE AMAZING --nothing short of AMAZING!

Posted by: Hilary4HRC | December 1, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

What is it with the provincial Washington chattering class who assume that Democratic senators are all emotionally insecure 12 year olds? I never see Republicans written about like this. Was Mitt Romney weeping into his cheerios the morning after Super Tuesday? Where are the stories about John McCain throwing a shoe at the TV or yelling at Schmidt on November 5th?

We have a huge uphill climb out of the hole Bush has drilled the country and the planet into. It'll take at least a decade to get us on the right track and at least another for the new course to bear fruit. There's so much work to be done any US senator worth his salt ought to be able to make a mark that will be remembered for a century. Kerry's a big boy, he knows that.

It's says a lot more about the writer than the politician when they write this crap.

Posted by: markg8 | December 1, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"Instead of traveling the globe and crafting U.S. foreign policy, Kerry will get the consolation prize of serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has jurisdiction over confirming Clinton and the rest of the national security team."

Mary Ann? Gates doesn't need confirmation; he's already passed that test, as has James Jones.

Kerry's committee has no say in confirming anyone but Rice, Clinton, and Clinton's immediate, high level aides. That's it.

If you're gonna talk about DC's "inside baseball" landscape, at least know where the players stand on the field.

Posted by: TCLeatherPenguin | December 1, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

John Kerry is getting more than he deserves. He is a mediocre Senator, was a terrible presidential candidate and a disloyal colleague to Hillary. He should have endorsed her. He knew she was the better candidate, the one most experienced and informed to lead us, but he aligned himself with Obama, hoping to get Secretary of State.

Now, we have Hillary's platform with Obama at the helm and Hillary tapped to serve as Secretary of State. She is extraordinarily well informed and well liked around the world. Kerry is no match for her. He's lucky to be where he is.

I'm glad Obama moved away from his absurd leftist direction, leaving all the clueless youth in his wake. They voted for the rock star and his ultra liberal platform. Applause for Obama and his brilliant deception. Personally, I am thrilled that he has moved to the center. Still, I mourn the loss of Hillary as President, but I am comforted now that we're getting her platform and her contribution as Secretary of State. Obama is selecting well. I hope he continues in this direction. Bottom line: he's our next President and we all wish him well.

Posted by: mvpeach | December 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Obama finally realized that Kerry really isn't fit to lead. Now, if only the Senate would realize it.

Posted by: lorddunsmore | December 2, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I would have liked to see Kerry or Richardson as SOS. I feel that they have been loyal supporters of Barack. However, I understand the politics of the situation and there is no doubt that Hillary can handle the job. I am happy to hear that Kerry is going to be the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. claudiatucsonaz

Posted by: claudiam1 | December 2, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Kerry has been a dim light in the senate. Now that he has lost POTUS & SOS, maybe he'll hunker down & choose to give the senate his all, rather than using it as a stepping stone. (See: Ted Kennedy) As for the contrived drama surrounding HRC, give it a rest!!!! I am repulsed by the endless repugnant "catfight" stories invented by the press. I think HRC is FAR SUPERIOR as SOS to either Kerry or "Gordo" Richardson. Neither is as bright or hard-working as she, nor do they carry the same prestige in foreign capitals.

Posted by: cosmiccanine | December 2, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

To TCLeatherPenguin:

Apparently it's your who needs the scorecard; Gates and Jones most certainly do have to go before Kerry's committee; you're part of the problem.

Posted by: lweaton1 | December 2, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

President-Elect Obama's choices must be viewed from a most pragmatic scope.It really shows that he is a realist. Seeing that Sen. John Kerry provided Mr. Obama with his first platform at the Democratic Convention, with that key=note speech, not so long ago, would exemplify the astuteness of Barack's thinking.

Posted by: cecilarcher | December 2, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

He has already given so much - the chair of Senate FR commitee is far more important than that of messenger boy (or girl)
Nice to keep him in DC - where there are far too few gentlemen already - of course the newly influential french would welcome him as at last an ambassador who speaks their language -
we americans living in France would love that

Posted by: clarkasc | December 3, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

lweaton1? If Gates did need to go through a committee hearing (he has already been confirmed and his role has not changed), it would be Carl Levin's Armed Services Committee.

James Jones, as National Security Adviser, most certainly does not fall under the purview of Kerry's Foreign Relations Committee. Indeed, the NSA position does not require confirmation by ANY Senate Committee.

"Part of the problem" is members of the public who don't do their homework before making uninformed pronouncements on subjects they obviously haven't bother to research.

Posted by: TCLeatherPenguin | December 3, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

John Kerry did not have the computer knowledge to back him up at the time of the elections, and did not know the elections could be stolen right under his nose...check out this story:

Posted by: huj534op | December 4, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Richardson would have been a far better choice that Diva Clinton.

Posted by: w4npx2 | December 5, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

This was such a classy reaction statement from John Kerry. I've never regretted my vote for him four years ago and this is just more evidence that he is a good leader. I'm glad he will be chairing such a key committee because we sure need all hands on deck in these difficult times.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | December 5, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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