Sizing up Kerry as secretary of state
December 15th, 2012
11:45 PM ET

Sizing up Kerry as secretary of state

From CNN’s Elise Labott and Jill Dougherty

Sen. John Kerry, who sources say has been tapped by President Barack Obama to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, will come to the post with a full plate of foreign policy crises, from the civil war in Syria, to the nuclear antics of North Korea, to a looming showdown with Iran over its nuclear program.

Anybody who follows Clinton would have some pretty big shoes to fill. Clinton was not just the most popular member of the president’s Cabinet for the past four years, she had celebrity status and respect almost everywhere she went around the world.

But as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for almost 30 years, the past four as chairman, Kerry himself is a highly respected figure on the world stage. While Obama is not close to a lot of world leaders, Kerry has deep relationships with many heads of state that he can draw on as the nation’s top diplomat. Sources close to Kerry note that the increasing partisanship on Capitol Hill has disillusioned Kerry and he is ready to leave the Senate.

He is no stranger to diplomacy and has often traveled overseas on behalf of the Obama administration as a diplomatic troubleshooter and to mend frayed relationships. Kerry persuaded Afghan President Hamid Karzai to agree to an election runoff in 2009 and has traveled Pakistan after a series of incidents, including the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

“There are very few people with greater experience over a longer period of time,” notes Nicholas Burns, a former career ambassador who has served every secretary of state since Warren Christopher, and was most recently undersecretary for political affairs under Condoleezza Rice.“He would be a very, very impressive choice."

“You really need someone who is a renaissance person with a tremendous range of skill, both political and substantive, with a deep reservoir of knowledge” Burns said in an interview. “You need someone who can drill several layers deep on foreign policy issues.”

Like Obama, Kerry sees the benefit of reaching out to adversaries, like Iran and Syria, and give them a chance to negotiate. At one point, Kerry even spearheaded outreach efforts to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before the administration turned on Assad over his crackdown on protesters. But he also has called for arming the opposition and for NATO airstrikes, which Obama's administration has resisted.

The Middle East is sure to take up a good part of the secretary’s time. In addition to helping bring about a political transition in Syria, the United States also must manage the political chaos in Egypt and the rest of North Africa while trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran and revive the Middle East peace process. Kerry is one of the well-traveled senators to the Middle East, has a good feel for the region and knows many of the players. Kerry insiders say a Secretary of State Kerry would want to play a big role shaping policy for in the Mideast and try to help solve some of intractable issues, including delving heavily into the peace process.

Kerry also has displayed a particular interest in climate change and energy, and sources say he is likely to give special emphasis to those issues. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, has used some of her fortune to support environmental groups.

Kerry is viewed by those who know him as someone who is very hands-on with issues he cares about. He dives in and tries to understand the nuances, which often leads to a tendency to try to drive the issue. But part of being secretary of state involves managing an agency of more than 6,000 people and hundreds of diplomatic posts worldwide. A secretary must delegate authority and support leave the day-to-day diplomatic efforts to others, not try to be a day-to-day Middle East peace envoy or special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Much has been made of how Kerry’s relationship with the president could impact his effectiveness as secretary of state. While Susan Rice, who earlier this week withdrew her name for consideration, is considered to be one of President Obama’s closest confidantes. She shares, and perhaps even helped shape, his world view. Kerry is not seen as an Obama insider, but has been a presence at key moments in Obama's rise. Kerry served with then-Senator Obama the Foreign Relations Committee and, as the presidential nominee in 2004, gave the young senator a platform that launched him onto the national stage when he asked him to speak at the Democratic National Convention. This election, Kerry also helped prep Obama for his debates with Mitt Romney and offered a strong argument of the administration’s foreign policy during his address at the convention in September.

Yet Kerry, like Clinton, does not have the close bond with the president, and his influence in forming and shaping U.S. foreign policy would be unclear. Kerry and Obama have their foreign policy differences – such as their positions on Syria. But in some ways, this could be an advantage. Even though there is not much daylight between the two men’s foreign policy visions, Kerry might be willing to challenge the president and present alternative viewpoints in a way that Susan Rice might not have.

Obama is considered a president who likes to drive foreign policy himself, and the White House plays a major role in both its conception and execution. A lingering question remains whether he will empower his secretary of state to fashion areas of foreign policy on his behalf. Aaron David Miller, a Middle East expert with the Wilson Center, cites legendary former secretaries such as Henry Kissinger, James Baker and George Schultz as diplomats who were empowered to create the policies that their presidents then implemented.

“That is going to be the difference, I think, between John Kerry being a good secretary of state and … truly be a consequential, if not great secretary of state,” Miller said.

While the loss in the 2004 presidential election affected him for years, insiders say he has finally moved past it and is ready to serve under a president rather as president. Friends and colleagues say he would view the post as a chance to carve out an influential niche for himself in the administration and a place for himself in history.

soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Steven

    Does this mean he'll come back out of the shadows for another run at president? If he is appointed sec. of state, this country will have no credibility what so ever. The man has no integrity, character or personal commitment to any one or anything. He will always put his personal agenda ahead of everything else.

    December 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  2. Jerry Black

    What the State Department needs is a second in command who can organize and build it. Ex-Defense Security Gates pointed out we had more people in military bands than foreign service officers. Let's get enough FSO's so we get some insight and understanding of what's going on in a country. Understanding a country is a lot cheaper than sending in the troops and trying to convert them to Jeffersonian democracy.

    December 21, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
  3. NAM VET

    "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND MAY SHE PREVAIL OVER THESE HARD TIMES".

    December 20, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
  4. Tom1940

    Our boy J. Kerry is the picture of an American Success Story. Hang around Martha's Vinyard, hob-knob with the Kennedy Clan and be identified as a J.F.K wannabee in your youth. Get elected to office. Marry a rich widow, run for President.
    Truly a "man for all seasons", if you like folks with zero experience in the "real world", having spent their entire adult life, save for a stint in Viet Nam, (which some folks have raised questions about). Now up for Sect'y of State. Another of the Obama Lads, experience shy, theory long, that fits right in with the rest of the "ruling class". I suspect that our
    allies and our adversaries around the world are wondering how far down the road into oblivion the U.S.A. will proceed before it comes to it's senses and elects leaders, "that are leaders", instead of wannabee's and "campaigners". The
    country is going over not only a fiscal cliff, but a credibility cliff as well. Everyone in the world, laughing at the U.S. as being among one of the largest debtor nations, teetering on credit devaluation and financial ruin, lead by a bunch of amateurs whom truly do not know, nor understand the bedrock principles nor core values of American Exceptionalism.
    It could be the Democrats will achieve their goal and dream, Seeing this country brought to it's knees and facing destruction, all in the cause of socialist progressive idealism.

    December 19, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Another Mistake

      Very descriptive and at the least sums up john kerry. I have no respect for him.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • B nutty

        Agreed, just another cry baby, obnoxious, loud mouth liberal. He never shuts up, just like Biden.

        December 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • WIMPY38

      Ahhhhhhhhh! Let's have a pity party for poor Tom!

      December 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  5. Argus

    "...a chance to carve out an influential niche for himself in the administration and a place for himself in history."

    His place in history will be assured by the long memory of our military historians. You'll find hem listed under "T" for traitors.

    December 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  6. empresstrudy

    CNN and MSNBC are already complaining Obama hasn't appointed more black Muslim handicapped lesbian Mexicans to his cabinet. And I tend to agree. If all that matters is branding then let's drop the pretense that skills matter at all. Or even that results matter.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
  7. SPA Knight

    Another weakling in the arena of predators and terrorists. He has vast foreign policy experience but was it successful. He's just another mouthpiece for the Apology of America tour.

    December 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Durundal

      Apology tour? hahaha its like you're freakin 12. Noon'es apologizing for america, but I know of at least one person who is pitying the backwater trolls like you. Grow up

      December 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  8. Chris

    Republicans can just shut their ugly mouthes please. You lost the election, again, yet you don't seem to understand that. YOU are the America haters, look at the comments you write about your own president – you HATE him! You HATE THE USA!

    December 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • SPA Knight

      Hating Obama is equivalent to hating the USA? Get off your Messiah complex.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • joe

        They hate the will of the Majority.

        December 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • GetReal

        Hating the POTUS is unpatriotic. Get over your sour grapes.

        December 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • B nutty

      chris here ^^ perfect example of the obnoxious, loud mouth liberal. They never turn off the caps lock. Have you considered running for congress yet Chris?

      December 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  9. MARK

    I agree. I think John Kerry is PERFECT for Sec of State. I mean, who would better represent this administration? An administration who thinks that America is not exceptional. An administration who is openly hostile to America's interests abroad. An administration who had only been proud of the US since 2008. An Administration who view our military in negative terms. Kerry IS PERFECT, the only thing this administration HASN'T done is sell out our troops. With Kerry as Sec of State, the administration can FINALLY check off this box

    December 17, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
    • SPA Knight

      State gifts will now be a big bottle of Heinz Ketchup.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Mikerooni

      Didn't vote for Obama in either election. In fact, I voted for Bob Barr in 08 and Gary Johnson in '12 because neither major party actually has the middle class's best interest at heart, and the only truly wasted vote is one that goes to a candidate that has already been bought by somebody with opposing interests to mine. But I do get tired of hearing this line of attack. I've seen no evidence that any of this is true. Pretty sure President Obama THINKS he's doing what's best for a country and people he seems to care deeply about. Don't see where it becomes so personal for some people, or why somebody who disagrees with you on methodology must be a traitor/socialist/apologist.

      December 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  10. MARK

    Obama chooses an America loathing, pseudo-intellectual to be Sec of State. I'm shocked. Kerry is an older version of Obama. We should all go throw someone elses medals over the White House fence.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:43 am | Reply
    • Tom

      Kerry is a joke. He turned in his medals and now wants to lead our country's diplomatic effort. Oh he'll work out great all they will see is a traitor.

      December 17, 2012 at 7:02 am | Reply
      • Mikerooni

        In a country founded on the principle of free speech in opposition to government policy, the real America hater is the one who would side with the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Iranians, and the Cubans in labelling a person a traitor for exercising his right to free speech in opposition to government policy. You are of course, welcome you your America-hating position, but you should realize it's an exercise in extreme cognitive dissonance. That's okay though. Although I disagree with what you say, I will fight to the death for your right to say it.

        December 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  11. aurelius

    You made a great choice Mr. President. Kerry is respected worldwide, except by reddneckks, rabid Republican haters and FOX.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:23 am | Reply
  12. josh rogen

    I don't believe she just followed the president's directive on Benghazi, as a personal adviser and friend she probably helped form it. and it was obvious with her discussions with senators that Susan Rice couldn't make it through the process she was hostile and antagonistic to even the republicans that supported her. John Kerry knows how to play the game and being a man will win points with our Arab allies and be respected by our Arab foes.

    December 17, 2012 at 5:00 am | Reply
  13. josh rogen

    is he still going to host the price is right???

    December 17, 2012 at 4:50 am | Reply
  14. GulpOff

    So, where's my previous comment?
    CNN, is your mediator of this blog thick?
    Or, is he/she selling my comment(s) to
    stand-up comedians?

    December 17, 2012 at 4:32 am | Reply
  15. OH COME LET US ADORE HIM

    CHRIST THE LORD OF BETHLEHAM

    December 17, 2012 at 3:46 am | Reply
    • meifumado

      Keep your myths to yourself

      December 17, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  16. Patrick

    Kerry...ultra liberal buffoon. Not a surprise CNN has a shiver running up their collective legs. Poor choice & America suffers more humiliation on the world stage. The apologizer-in-chief now has a nanny.

    December 17, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • sucorazon

      Last I heard was Mitt Romney imploded along with the GOP. You must be the last drop to hit the ground after the implosion.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
    • Dr. Jack

      Intersesting, but not surprising!!

      The scores of articles about Romney always underscored his wealth, earned, NOT married!!

      Not one word that Kerry is richer than Romney, of course, after dumping his first wife, worth ONLY a few million dollars, for one with a nine figure bank account!!

      The silence from CNN is deafening!!

      December 17, 2012 at 1:59 am | Reply
  17. Peter Q Wolfe

    Mrs Clinton Secretary of State has overseen the Girls and Women initiative that will perhaps one day bolster effortsts to undermine tyranical governments, zealot extremist and combat over population. I also think the Burma, Arab Uprisings, Iranian sanctions and everything else are much better than Mr Rice's tenure as Secretary of State. All I'm saying is that pick a Secretary of State that aligns with the Secretary of Defense like Gates and Hillary and that means partnership not deviciseness or partisanship.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  18. likeaplan

    The argument against Ms. Rice was that she was political. John Kerry has been political for all of his political career. The GOP want Kerry's senate seat. Nothing more and nothing less.

    December 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • Peaches

      you do understand that the Governor of Massachussetts, Deval Patrick - A DEMOCRAT - will pick who replaces Kerry, right?

      December 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  19. bird56

    Funny all the right wing wack job commrnts above. Big name republican senators are saying Kerry's the right man for the job and tha'ts good enough for me. Unless of course you believe that the republicans are slimey enough they would support a bad candidate for SOS just to get another chance at the Mass senate seat.

    December 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • GetReal

      Bingo! Thanks for paying attention to what is NOT being reported.

      December 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  20. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    He really is the only person qualified for such a job. He is perfect and has been. Although I like Susan Rice, Kerry is a true statesman and is much more highly qualified for such a position. Best of luck to John Kerry, and may a democrat succeed him as Senator!

    December 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • BostonSteve

      You are so misinformed it is scary.

      December 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
      • Compulsionlife

        Please explain your position. It seems odd to make such a strong statement but provide no data or information to back it up. I look forward to reviewing the details.

        December 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • spent

      You write this based on?????????????

      December 17, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
  21. Dave254

    Respected world stage figure?! Who wrote that line, John Kerry?

    December 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  22. yem

    John Kerry would make a great Sec. of State. I have read some negative comments about Kerry out of sheer jealousy. He is smart and has tons of of experience the country needs.

    December 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • BostonSteve

      You are so misinformed it is scary.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
      • RolnThndr

        BostonSteve, you're great at spouting out, "You are so misinformed it is scary." yet not once do you provide any facts or statistics to back up your OPINION. I'm wondering why that is. Could it be because it's just your opinion, or is it because you have no data to back up your ramblings and are instead just spewing out what you've heard on fox?

        If you want to be taken as anything other than a fox mouthpiece bafoon then back up your statements with facts.

        December 17, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Dave254

      Uhm, I think you mean BOB Kerry, not John Kerry!

      December 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  23. Another Mistake

    For LOL!!!!! The one who threw his Vietnam awarded medals away. The Vietnam returnee that voluntarily entered the Naval service, came home and tossed them! His commanders did not set foreign policy. In effect he spit in the face of other veterans. A male type Jane Fonda! Oh, and remember, he tried to avoid TAX payment on his big, new yacht in Mass. by moving it to another state 2 or 3 years back?? Hello!!! TERRIBLE appointment.

    December 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Ben rast

      I was an eagle scout, and I didn't keep my merit badges after I learned how hard they fought to kick out gays and keep pedophiles. If we were stranded in the woods, which one of us would you want building a fire and setting up shelter? I earned my badges, like he earned his medals, and it doesn't really matter if I keep them as long as I keep the lessons learned.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • Dave254

        Thanks for your post, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

        December 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • Jimbo1975

        If you we're a scout, I was the King of Siam. Kerry lied abut his service and lied about his 'injuries', committed treason when he met secretly with the North Vietnamese in Paris to essentially surrender (had no authority to speak on America's behalf) and disgraced his uniform and the United States Military when he lied to Congress. The list goes on.

        John Kerry is a disgrace and a fraud, but then look at the makeup of the US Senate and this Administraton. He is a perfect fit.

        One good thing to this nomination, he will only be around for a maximum of four more years and SEE YA!!,

        December 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
      • Kevin

        You're kidding, right?

        December 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
      • Person

        Jimbo, you appear to have never learned that the Swift-boat "information" about Kerry was largely baloney.

        December 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
      • Another Mistake

        baloney?? wake up.. Kerry went to Vietnam get his ticket 'punched'!

        December 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  24. buffoon

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    December 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Ben rast

      Copy/pasting the same non point 20 doesn't make it any more true. He would have been a poor president, but he can certainly be a good Secretary of State

      December 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Person

      Blather much?

      December 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  25. buffoon

    Kerry is a Buffoon in every sense of the word.

    Botox boy to the rescue? wow what an embarrassment...

    December 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  26. disgustedvet

    Not many of us Vietnam era vets appreciate this guy.

    December 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • David A

      Why? Because he was a former Vietnam Vet who fought valiantly in spite of the "Swift Boat" lies perpetrated by the nutbars on the Right? I presume that you like GWB better although he chose to sit out the real fighting in favor of not showing up to National Guard meetings in the safety of home.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
      • DemFromSC

        Thank you for your comment David. You got it exactly right! I, like you, am tired of listening to the lies told by right-wingers over and over again. Kerry is an excellent choice, and will be well-respected around the world. Compare him to McCain's choice for VP and anyone can see which party is serious about governing.

        December 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • BostonSteve

        Kool Aid tastes gooooooooood

        December 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
      • Bill C

        Yeah ,never let a little thing like the facts get in your way. Kerry lied about his service. A proven fact. But, hey, don't let that get in the way of your hyperbole.

        December 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • GAlbert

        You've said it exactly right, David. That the right wingers succeeded in influencing the vote, and actually swaying people in their regard for John Kerry is truly pathetic. No matter his flaws or faults (which we all have), he is the right man for the job. If a person served in the armed forced - with or without medals - they deserve the respect of the nation! John Kerry will be a great Secretary of State! Funny how they didn't want Susan Rice, because they claim she isn't qualified. So John Kerry, with his undoubted experience gets the same response from the right, all because they want to reject anything President Obama does. These people shame our nation with their comments and behavior! The world watches in mass disbelief as everyday someone disrespects our Commander in Chief!

        December 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
      • SPA Knight

        What's Kerry's position on Israel? Of course he's well respected by terrorist nations because they will have a field day. Thank God we have a strong military until they dismantle that too.

        December 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  27. saeed

    if people dont belive me google it up kerry name is a irish surname.

    December 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • massms

      saeed:

      Kerry's grandfather was Jewish; he changed hs name from Cohen to Kerry to obscure that fact. Kerry as always allowed people to think he is of Irish extraction because he stood to gain more support in Massachusetts. Just one more of the Senator's character flaws.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • GAlbert

        Nobody would have to hide their heritage if Americans weren't so intolerant!

        December 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  28. saeed

    whats the differents its all the same irish american trash. someone needs to blow up a kindergarten in dublin some lone wolf.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • massms

      saeed:

      See my response above. I would expect a person with the user name saeed would hate Jews more than írish americans[sic].

      December 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • tim

      how dare you even make a joke about blowing up a kindergarten in the wake of what just happened at connecticut. you are lower then the dirt ground beneath my boots you son of a *****

      December 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • saeed

        i liked it real good when the irish american women anne marie murphy got shot through the face.

        December 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • BostonSteve

      Saeed......we will find you.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • saeed

        your mother in boston is a irish whoore.

        December 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
      • BostonSteve

        Saeed.....we know who you are and we are coming for you :)

        December 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
      • massms

        Boston Steve:

        Saeed is the quintessential vile Muslim; he hates everbody including himself.

        December 17, 2012 at 12:45 am |
      • saeed

        bostonsteve sister is a irish whoore.

        December 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  29. Reagan80

    Respected world stage figure??? The guy is a lying left wing nut. That said, he's as reasonable a choice as our lying left wing president is likely to make so, I say confirm him.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Rememberwhatbushdid

      Reagan, nice a man as he was personally, is the president who started the great decline of the American middle class, and appointed Supreme Court justices who think America is a business and not a country. History will show, other than his facedown of the Soviet Union, that Reagan, with his de-regulation of the media which led to all outlets being owned by conglomerate businesses...and our political campaigns being usurped by big money...was one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • 123elle

        Thank you. Reagan was the beginning of a long slide for our country that has not stopped yet. He gave senility a bad name.

        December 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
      • GAlbert

        You are so right! Every time I hear someone sing the praises of Reagan, I can only shake my head. Someone needs to list the atrocities that occurred on his watch. A union-busting, dehumanizing president if ever there was one. I trust young historians will chronicle his presidency correctly. I have a feeling only the right wing know why they revere Reagan, and I believe it has something to do with the Democrats having John F. Kennedy. Republicans had no such president, and so they invented one!

        December 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
      • idiophobia

        if you really want to get into that you actually would need to start at LBJ because 80% of our debt right now is from stuff he came up with (S.S, medicare, the war on poverty) yea everyone after him didn't help in that matter but he truly started it all.

        December 17, 2012 at 7:31 am |
  30. Alfred E. Neuman

    So was Clinton just a puppet of Obama's foreign policy agenda? Did she have any strong feelings about how foreign policy should be conducted? Kerry is quite likely to put his stamp on foreign policy when he is confirmed by the Senate.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  31. Fishman

    Wonder how the next Secretare Of State would handle the South EastAsian issues related toInternational Sea/Water Rights and Human Rights in pecific? I would support Him, if he 'd have strong hands on it, which I doubt!

    December 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  32. theoriginaljames

    For all of the partisan prancing about here I would just point out that US foreign policy has been the only point of bipartisan congruence since the end of WW2. Not flicker of daylight has existed between the parties. None. I'll leave alone my own opinion of the merits of that foreign policy aside.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  33. massms

    In Massachusetts, Kerry is regarded as pompous, arrogant and completely out of touch with the 'little people' he's supposed to represent.. What else would one expect from someone who nominated himself for a Purple Heart and parks his $7M yacht in another state to avoid taxes?

    December 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • freya

      If what you say is true, Why was he voted back in office again? just asking.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
      • BostonSteve

        Because the residents of Massachusetts vote party first regardless of the issues. What other state uses tax payer money to build a memorial for an alcoholic, rapist, murderer (aka Ted Kennedy).

        December 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • massms

        freya:
        .
        Because, as Boston Steve has aptly pointed out, that is what the people of Massachusets do...and there is no rational explanation of why.

        December 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • yacht

      no offense, but wouldn't you do the same?

      December 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
      • massms

        yacht:

        No, I would not.

        December 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  34. Hasai

    "Kerry even spearheaded outreach efforts to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before the administration turned on Assad over his crackdown on protesters. But he also has called for arming the opposition and for NATO airstrikes. . . ."

    Hell hath no fury like a peacenik played for a sucker.

    December 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  35. Vijay

    Senator Kerry is superbly qualified to be the next Secretary of State. He should be nominated and and approved as quickly as possible,..It will also signal one less rancourous fight between the house and the President. In general, the sooner the president can get his new team approved and in placee, the quicker he (and the congress) can get on with the nationa's more urgent problems.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      John Kerry represents everything that is wrong in our national government! A long time career politician who hasn't done anything commendable. What we need are true patriots, loyal to the people NOT loyal to political parties!
      Our government is so "politicized" today, none of these idiots show concern for our country! Sure, the GOP would love to confirm Kerry as Sec. of State simply because he would open a seat for a potential GOP senate win! Kerry, I feel, would be a very mediocre Sec. of State, not someone outstanding (which is what we need)! Choose someone else!

      December 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  36. ericgoestoholland

    I'm so very sad to see Clinton leave the post, and I wasn't/am not entirely sure about Kerry. I found him to be a poor presidential candidate and I realize that I don't know a ton of information about him, which is why I'm reading articles like this one. Based on some of his credentials described here, Kerry does seem like a potentially good candidate for secretary of state. But is it just me, or this article unusually hard to read? Lots of words missing or oddly phrased sentences. It amuses me that, every once in a while, cnn posts an article that sounds like it was written by someone with a lack of writing experience...

    December 16, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  37. arkmark

    Well People complain about the repubs recycle their trash. Kerry is just another politician has been being given a participation trophy without actually doing anything substantial to earn it \. That being said his position will be marginalized as Obama did with Clinton and he will take the flack for Obamas inept foreign policies

    December 16, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  38. BostonSteve

    28 years in Congress representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and what has this donkey accomplished? Not much. No one here in Mass ever knows where this guy is or what he is doing unless its a photo-op. It's all about what's best for John Kerry with this guy, NOT what's best for the country.

    December 16, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • ConfucianScholar

      The only thing memorable Kerry did as a politician was to ridicule him self in the campaign he so dismally lost against George W. Bush. He is sure to deliver another sordid performance as Barry's minion.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  39. Horseface

    Another American-hating disgrunteled democrat loser, to step into the driver seat Old Horse face after wwhining and crying that he desereves special attention because of vietnam (AND THROWING HIS METALS OVER THE WHITE HOUSE FENCE, AND SLANDERING THE US EFFORTS IN 1971), is ow going to be our secretary of state. The man that cals us troops in iraq "terrorists". Yep Old Horse face is going to show us the way, and prove to the world our credibility as a self respecting nation. A perfect addition to the Obama travesty reign. God Bless America – I hope we survive.

    December 16, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • eMan

      Horseface, your name should be horses ass. I'm not a Kerry fan at all, but your name calling shows your pea sized Republican brain, and to say he hates America is just plain stupid.

      And it's not un_American to question a war in this country where freedom of speech is till the right of the people. I support all Vietnam Vets, but that was just another war we didn't belong in thhat cost America hundreds of billions of dollars that could have been used here to make OUR society better, and MORE importantly we could have saved the 55,000 lives lost there.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
      • Alan S

        eMan: I can't say that your comment was any more refined or thoughtful than the one you criticized. "Pea-sized Republican brain"? Horseface was a bit over the top, but you have been as quick as he to resort to insults. And your insults, unlike those by Horseface, were directed at another commenter, rather than in general about a public figure.

        December 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  40. Terry

    John Kerry He fought in Vietnam. Uh well maybe he did but he did get three purple hearts. Uh from fighting, maybe not. Oh well he can't do any worse than Hillery.

    December 16, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • freya

      Oh well he can't do any worse than Hillery.
      ------------------
      Or most Republican for that matter. And by the way the if your going to dissed somebody try to spell their name right.
      THAT'S HILLARY CLINTON SECRETARY OF STATE TO YOU AND THE FORMER FIRST LADY OF THIS COUNTRY.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  41. talleytone

    ..

    December 16, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  42. talleytone

    From the moment little Kerry was sent to boarding school in Sweden at 11 his path was chosen. So this and off to Yale make him a good choice for SOS?

    December 16, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
  43. A real mass resident

    Look, Kerry is a clown. He has also sided against the US and is just a public opinion lap dog.

    When it suited his political career, he served in Vietnam. Then when it served his political ambitions he spat on his fellow vets and sided with the enemy.

    I can tell you he has been caught numerous times publishing opinion statements to the press for both sides of an important issue, both for and against said issue.

    This man is a hack of the worst kind, and he knows it. Do your research and see it for yourself.

    Don't forget his own men came out against him in the election. That speaks volumes when the people you went to war with still don't trust you thirty plus years on.

    December 16, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  44. Allen

    Kerry is cool. I think he will make a great SS.

    December 16, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • davecu

      With respect, please hold on to THAT dream!

      December 16, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
  45. screwup

    Who cares what's your choice. Who are you? Nobody.

    December 16, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Rina

      Go back to watching swamp people and just be quiet.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
  46. Araminta Ross

    Well, now that he's out the running for Sec of Defense, they need to run him through the car wash so they can get all that ketchup they slapped on him at Heinz Field...He sure wasn't palitable for that job and he'll never compare to Hillary.

    December 16, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
  47. Peter Q Wolfe

    Matter of fact that Hillery Clinton was perhaps one of thte best Secretary of State's that our U.S country has ever had! I really liked how she and Secretary of Defense Gates worked in tandum with one another on foreign policy objectives without partisanship being involved. Hopefully he new Secretary of Defense and Kery will be matched or paired to align our U.S interest.

    December 16, 2012 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • BillT1960

      Really? Like what did she actually accomplish? Nothing, nada....we are a bigger joke internationally than we have ever been.

      One of the best? Come on, really?

      December 16, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
      • jnpa

        What exactly do you expect a Sec of State to "accomplish"?

        December 16, 2012 at 8:54 am |
      • Mevis

        You probably think Condelesa Rice was good... You probably haven't travelled abroad, ever.

        December 16, 2012 at 10:44 am |
      • Jay

        Did she beat you up and steal your milk money when you were young? Hilary Clinton is (was) the most respected American by world leaders.

        December 16, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  48. Sharon

    He sees a benefit to negotiating with Syria as the work on chemicals weapons?

    December 16, 2012 at 7:52 am | Reply
  49. Bob_MelbourneFLA

    Kerry is a traitor.... and his cohort Jane Fonda (The Treason Queen). His politics usually follow whatever direction the wind is blowing. Overall, I wouldn't trust Kerry as far as I could toss a piano across a room.

    December 16, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
  50. Tired

    The stream of comments above are among the most misinformed, hateful, unhelpful, bigoted, nonsensical and useless I have ever seen on any one story. ...except for one or two at most. Go back into your caves.

    December 16, 2012 at 7:08 am | Reply
    • sailor man

      I absolutely agree. This string is why many news organizations are turning off chats. People here can't even spell (Hillery, really?) and the views expressed are clearly those of the sad, the angry, the Tea Party trolls, the losers of society. Kerry is a fine choice, according to experienced, veteran observers of foregn affairs.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  51. liz

    Open up John Kerry's spot to Scott Brown

    December 16, 2012 at 6:48 am | Reply
  52. are122

    Kerry is a tax dodger and a traitor to the troops. If he fails he can easily be replaced by Jane Fonda or Bill Ayers. Kerry is a good fit for the Obama administration...all of whom have managed to dodge Obama care.

    December 16, 2012 at 6:44 am | Reply
    • larry5

      Obamacare is not good enough for important people. You'll never see Obama on his own healthcare plan. He's not that stupid.

      December 16, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
      • Right.....

        Technically everybody is subject to it since its a law and not a healthcare "plan", moron. You can thank old Mitt for the specifics too

        December 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  53. Dennis

    John Kerry would not be my choice but he may be Obamas. This John Kennedy wannabe, who wrote his self up for valor medals in Vietnam later to have them questioned by senior commanders. He then sided with the enemy while we still had troops in harms way. He would not be my choice.

    December 16, 2012 at 6:34 am | Reply
  54. FackMe

    *Sigh* Kerry sucks.

    December 16, 2012 at 5:27 am | Reply
  55. Sugerkube

    Another traitor joins the Obama regime. Mr. Swiftboat John Fonda Kerry.

    December 16, 2012 at 4:22 am | Reply
  56. oldguy

    Who's got the political capital? Just an idea, but, why not let the Republicans pick the entire cabinet? Then the President wouldn't have to spend any of his alleged political capital. Is this how our President leads with recently acquired mandate? Wow!!

    December 16, 2012 at 3:35 am | Reply
  57. DaisyDe

    Kerry has experience dealing with foreign governments. Problem is he gained some of that experience during the Vietnam war. He shouldn't be allowed to set foot on U.S. soil, let alone represent our country.
    People have a short memory....

    December 16, 2012 at 2:44 am | Reply
    • are122

      Kerry would better fit as ambassador to Vietnam.

      December 16, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply
      • Horseface

        permenantly stationed in ho chi min city- where he belongs. Along with Hanoi Jane

        December 16, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • DaveF

      I wonder how many of the GOP idiots have ever been in Nam? and stood a "post." and endured the lies by the "swift boaters."? showered on Kerry. He earned his medals unlike the traitor Mccain who gave info to Charlie about his mission, etc.and was a lously pilot (destroyed 5 aircraft) and received special treatment in Nam. By the way Kerry's yacht was earned by his wive's deceased x-husband unlike Mitt who is one of the most immoral people I know by making millions while bankrupting companies and received amnesty for not paying taxes on his Swiss accounts. You people make me sick.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  58. Marvin Wayne Palmer, Jr

    Confused? Maybe wrong choice?

    December 16, 2012 at 2:18 am | Reply
  59. Bangash

    No doubt John Kerry is the best choice however as usual it will make no difference as USA is ruled by ghost power hidden behind those in the chair. Ex president Clinton had said that being a president he follows dictation and can do nothing on his own. John Kerry is well aware of what to do in the best interest of USA but he will have to do what he is told by the corporatocracy which is above USA and US citizens. USA"s extra ordinary reliance on ,militarism in world politics and taking care of the interests of MIC, has in fact given rise to militarism in USA and the recent shooting in school at CT is latest in such unfortunate incidents wherein little kids or little angels have suffered. Ex President Eisonhour in 1961, during his last address to the nation had warned that too much reliance on manufacturing of weapons may force USA to manufacture reason for its use as well which will disturb peace at home and abroad. Today we see that neither USA is at peace at home nor the world.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:08 am | Reply
  60. gtblubbery1930

    No doubt. He's a seasoned Viet Nam & Massachusetts political veteran who will do a real good job. He's a nice man and it will be great to see him standing on 2 feet the next 4 years!

    December 16, 2012 at 2:08 am | Reply
  61. Yes, Ron Paul

    Ron would remind people of Warren Christopher, except that Ron wouldn't sleep through speeches of others, or even his own. He would be far more convincing and would bring countries back to respecting and loving the US, but when Skill&*Bones; Bohemian Club; Bildeberg, etc., control the US of A, all you can expect is cremation of Care.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
  62. Skull 'N Bones

    Kerry is too Bush to be credible. Not much will change in terms of world peace. America will remain the ugly brutal bully in the eyes of the world. A better choice would have been Ron Paul.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:17 am | Reply
  63. BIG MISTAKE

    women dont belong in politics

    December 16, 2012 at 1:06 am | Reply
    • Fran

      Just look at the illusturous work of rice and Hillary Clinton. They both did heck of a job.

      Maybe that is what we need

      December 16, 2012 at 3:34 am | Reply
  64. beancube

    The article forget to mention one important thing about those sloppy Zionist CIA Israelis want to regime change USA using a lot of money through those war on women right wing SuperPAC. Some how our women population are sensitive about it despite corporation media mass brain washes. They decided to save this country from that sloppy regime change Zionist campaign.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
    • mcwsunshine

      You don't make any sense in your misuse of the English language...you do sound like you've been skipping your meds again.

      December 16, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
  65. wallaceboy

    I am a Republican and I am OK with this guy. I actually voted for him vs Bush. However, I am confused. Susan Rice was a poor choice from the start. Our last two Sec. State have been female and one black yet - was this a PC choice? Why not Kerry from the start? Why not act like the real world and choose the best candidate first. Politicos make me nuts.....

    December 16, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
  66. helenecha

    What an unexpected posture it is in that picture. Boring!

    December 16, 2012 at 12:34 am | Reply

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