Merry Xmas, Senator Kerry

While everyone was on the way out the door for the holiday break, John F. Kerry was formally proposed for the job he’s long wanted. Per the Washington Post:

President Obama nominated Sen. John F. Kerry on Friday to be the next secretary of state, saying that “in a sense, John’s entire life has prepared him for this role.”

Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his selection all but guarantees a swift, smooth path to confirmation. The lawmaker has been a frequent foreign policy adviser and confidant to Obama, and his five terms in Congress have gained him bipartisan advocates in the Senate…

In a brief ceremony in the White House Roosevelt Room, Obama praised Kerry, the son of a U.S. diplomat, for his military service in Vietnam and his work decades later restoring diplomatic relations with that country, and for his long service in the Senate….

Obama praised Kerry’s globe-trotting work ethic and noted his long list of personal relationships with leaders around the world. “He’s not going to need a lot of on-the-job training,” Obama said…

Per Mr. Pierce, who’s been following Kerry’s career for a long time:

Kerry is a good, safe choice for the job. He has made an entire Senate career out of taking on foreign-policy issues that nobody else — except Gary Hart — ever wanted to touch. He led the way in normalizing diplomatic relations with Vietnam at a time in which H. Ross Perot was still running around the country talking about thousands of American POW’s in camps in Laos, and while the country was filling the theaters watching Sly Stallone as John Rambo, doing as good a job of revising that sad episode in American history as can be expected from an actor who sat out the war as the chaperone at a girls’ school in Switzerland. He took on the rat’s nest at the Bank Of Commerce And Credit International, when BCCI was laundering money for whoever came through the door, and when BCCI also had bought enough politicians in Washington that Kerry and his investigators were pretty much out there alone…

This is a man who knows where the bodies have been buried for the past 30 years and, yes, he voted for the Iraq war, which was a terrible mistake that he fumbled trying to explain, but if you’re casting about for a Democratic Secretary Of State from his generation of Democratic politicians, Kerry is the natural choice, even if you find the way he came to be nominated, through the slandering of Susan Rice, distasteful, as I do….

(Susan Rice will be just fine. She’s a skilled professional, a personal friend of President Obama, and young enough to add still more gold stars to her CV before being appointed Secretary of State in 2016, or 2020, or 2024.)

The NYTimes chooses to be sniffy about the whole ‘Democratic President appointing Democrats’ thing:

… But though Mr. Kerry would bring even deeper experience to the job than Mrs. Clinton did, his appointment is likely to further centralize policy decisions in the White House, where for the past four years the president and a small circle of advisers have kept a tight grip on issues like Iran’s nuclear program, China, Pakistan, and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan.

“There’s every reason to believe that we’re going to have a very White House-centric foreign policy,” said David J. Rothkopf, the chief executive of the Foreign Policy Group. “Kerry is going to have to show his loyalty and willingness to work within the Obama system.” …

“The easiest model to see developing is one in which Kerry is on the road a lot, interfacing with foreign leaders, but the decision-making is done at the White House,” said Elliott Abrams, who held foreign-policy posts in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush….

(Elliott Abrams, indicted Iran-Gate conspirator “conservative policy analyst”, never permitted his presidents to interfere with the work of making the world safe for the megacorporate robber barons.)

The Boston Globe has more about Kerry’s history, as well as a tout sheet on the preliminary skirmishes for his Senate seat:

State law requires Governor Deval Patrick to appoint a temporary successor, once Kerry is confirmed by the Senate, as is expected to happen several weeks from now. An election would then be held between 145 days and 160 days after that.

Senator Scott Brown, the Republican who lost an election last month to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, is the most prominent person believed to be interested in running. He has hinted strongly that he would like to return to the Senate… If Brown decides against a run, former governor William F. Weld could emerge. He has said he is unlikely to run, but has not ruled it out.

The Democratic field is more wide open. Several members of the House delegation have expressed strong interest, including Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston, Michael E. Capuano of Somerville, and Edward J. Markey of Malden…

There’s been any amount of hand-wringing over the possibility that ‘Cosmo Boy’ Brown will grip’n’grin his way back into the Senate, to which I can only say: Fool me once… As a Democrat, I am all in favor of Bill Weld deciding to run against Scotty, because Big Bill is a charming patrician whose sense of inborn entitlement would drive Brown to make an even bigger prick of himself, but I doubt any remaining grievance on Weld’s part against the far right wing of the GOP is intense enough to bring him out of retirement for less than a sure bet.

As for the Dems, Ed Markey’s my Representative, and while he’s never set the Charles on fire he’s been a steady vote for the reality-based community (high tech & education, particularly, those being the big-dollar local industries). Capuano’s managed to balance a district divided between the devoutly progressive (professors & students) and the working class ‘traditional’ Dems, so he’s got that experience. Lynch I know less about; he’s hardcore Party Machine, probably a Blue Dog if he got the job, and reputed to be something of a thug — which would, of course, make it hard for Brown to get to the right of him, assuming it came down to those two.

As for the lucky appointee who gets to vote with the Dems between, presumably, late January and June:

…Potential interim senators include Vicki Kennedy, former governor Michael S. Dukakis, and retiring US Represenative Barney Frank. One person whose name was floated as a potential interim replacement, Margaret H. Marshall, the former chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, was not immediately available today. But her husband, former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis, laughed uproariously when called by a reporter….

Margaret H. Marshall was the Chief Justice responsible for making Massachusetts the first state to recognize same-sex marriage, so her place in history is secure. She resigned when her her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but I assume the thinking is that five months in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body would be more of an honor than a nuisance. I don’t think Michael Dukakis will be offered the job, much as I’d like to see him there, and from the brief snippets on the local news it doesn’t seem like he expects it to be offered. Vicki Kennedy — or, why not, Ben Affleck; hell, or Matt Damon — would be a safe vote for President Obama.

Of course, I’d love to have Barney Frank steam-cleaning the Repubs for a few strenuous and highly entertaining months, assuming he’s willing to put off his retirement!

67 replies
  1. 1

    Does the FSM loves us enough to make Senator Barney Frank a reality? It would be a wonderful way to say Merry ChriFSMas! Please, please, please.

    OK, the FSM did gives us this stocking stuffer: Dana Loesch is suing (I won’t link to it, but it is up on Memeorandum).

  2. 2
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    lynch is my rep. he’s totally machine, has tons of union and is totally pro coat hanger abortions. he’s never met uterus he doesn’t want legislate. he voted for stupak and regularly ignores my letters. we don’t want him.

  3. 3
    gene108 says:

    I’m O.K. with Kerry being Sec. of State. I think he’ll do a good job.

    I’m also not freaked out about Scott Brown. He has a voting record that’s nearly in lock step with The Turtle McConnell that it’d be possible for a competent candidate to hang that around his neck.

    Now I need to get myself packed and out the door. I’ve given up on really cleaning things up before I leave. I took out the trash, gave up on the dishes.

    I wish I could teleport myself to me mom’s in NC from NJ and save the drive. The drive I can deal with, it’s just the time it consumes that sort of cuts into the rest of the weekend that’s a drag.

    Merry Christmas, FMS-Mass, or whatever it is you’re celebrating.

  4. 4
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    Dana Loesch is suing (I won’t link to it, but it is up on Memeorandum).

    Oh, such sweet, sweet schadenfreude so early in the gift-giving season! That’s almost as good as National Review getting sued by Michael Mann (see TBogg for the details).

  5. 5
    c u n d gulag says:

    Kerry is a great choice.

    And as for Centerfold Scottie, I think he threw away any good will and positive Karma when he ran against Warren this year.

    And please, PLEASE, President Obama and Governor Patrick, put Barney in for a few months! Let him shake up the Senate.
    Frank & Warren!

    But, as The Ancient Randonneur says, the FSM doesn’t love me enough to have DeMint leave, and Frank arrive – even if for only a few months.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:


    Merry Christmas, and safe travels!

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I mentioned yesterday (but O/T and late in a dying thread) that this will make Elizabeth Warren the Senior Senator from Massachusetts. To which someone else noted that Kerry had to wait 25 years for his seniority; for Warren, it will be just a few weeks, assuming Kerry is confirmed.

    It’s a good, solid choice. And I join the chorus wishing for Barney Frank. He’d be a wonderful, effective, and — I daresay — highly entertaining benchwarmer.

  8. 8
    Keith G says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: The FSM might have that love, but Barney seems really into being a former elected official. He wants to write, teach, spend more time with his guy.

    I am hoping he gets regular face time on TRMS and maybe, in a while, a full time gig.

  9. 9
    hep kitty says:

    OT, but another shooting, in PA. Christmas in America or Happy Holidays, whatever you want to call it.

    Still not watching the news. I wonder if I will totally retreat from it all for 2013 and then peek my head back out in 2014 when the ACA goes into full effect. That’s when I’ll have something to dance about after gun control is dealt or at least another assault weapons ban is put in place. And the fiscal cliff, blah, blah, blah. Fuck the “fiscal cliff.”

    The rest of this shit, well, it’s just going to be one long, non-stop republican temper tantrum. I used to find it entertaining, especially after they lost. But it’s a broken record now.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Reluctantly okay with the pick, but…

    Kerry just this month turned 69 (his wife is 74). In the real world he’d be retired, enjoying his time with his spouse and perhaps acting in an advisory capacity.

    It’s a safe choice, not a bold choice. Time to pass the torch.

  11. 11
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Kerry is an excellent choice and he’ll sail through confirmation.

    I think that Snotty Scottie is past his Sell By date.

  12. 12
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Here’s a link to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about Loesch. She was the editor there at one point, wasn’t she?

    The suit says that difficulties managing the Breitbart “media ’empire’” or ideological conflicts or both had spiked the working relationship, creating a “increasingly hostile” work environment. When Loesch tried to terminate her work agreement in September, Breitbart refused and extended the agreement by a year, the suit says.

    Having actually met the woman in person, I will not be shedding any tears over her anguish. What a horrible human being.

  13. 13
    hep kitty says:

    I’ve heard Deval Patrick’s name being floated out there.
    But then I read he was selling his MA home.

  14. 14
    Maude says:

    Safe is a keyword for the State Department right now. They are having a bad time there.
    Kerry is well known and trusted in other countries. He will be a plus to Obama.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    I am so very happy for John Kerry and his lovely and truly wonderful wife, Theresa. I have read that this was one of his lifelong dreams and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Now, if those GOP douches in the Senate can refrain from wearing purple bandaids during his confirmation, he’ll have the career capper he deserves and a measure of revenge against those chicken hawks and low lifes who made his life so miserable when he almost beat the C+ Augustus.

    As for Cosmo Boy, I really don’t think he made any friends in MA during the last election. I just can’t see anyone being as inept as Coakley was when she ran. I like Markey and think he’d be great. And the FSM really can’t love me enough to put Barney Frank in the Senate, even if only for a few months.

  16. 16
    hep kitty says:


    Having actually met the woman in person

    What was that like?

    And it’s so delightful seeing them turn on each other now.

  17. 17
    Linda Featheringill says:

    You say you want Frank? Ask for him. It’s Christmas and you’ve been good.

    Massachusetts State House
    Office of Governor Deval Patrick
    Room 280
    Boston, MA 02133

    Phone: 617.725.4005
    888.870.7770 (in state)
    Fax: 617.727.9725

  18. 18
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @hep kitty: I try to blot the incident out of my mind, but imagine meeting someone who, the minute they open their mouth, every word is hate-filled, bilious lies. It was what I imagine it would be like to meet Rush Limbaugh if he were better looking and wore high heeled leather boots.

    Of course, the event was a discussion of politics, so she might be a perfectly nice person in another setting. I hear Hitler liked dogs, too.

    ETA: At the time (before the 2010 election) she discussed the Tea Party ethos, and mentioned the whole “if you don’t do what we say we’ll primary your RINO ass” ethos of the “movement.” It was somewhat shocking how brazen they were in their “watch the world burn” attitude.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:


    Fred Kaplan pretty much writes about Kerry along the same lines, with a minor caveat or two.

    Though as for State going through a “bad time,” bringing in an ensconced establishmentarian at the top may not be the wisest thing when it comes to steering a better course.

    If the choice of Kerry is (and it may or may not be) a signal as to the tenor and direction of Obama’s second term, then I do view it somewhat askance.

  20. 20
    J.W. Hamner says:

    Does anyone know why Senator Kerry seems to want to be Secretary of State so bad? I get that he’ll be able to shape foreign policy for 4 years or whatevs, but he seems to have a pretty important foreign policy gig right now… and he essentially has it for life.

  21. 21
    28 Percent says:

    OT: Post-punk David Broder is a must-read today. Alert DougJ.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J.W. Hamner: Diplomat dad. Many consider it to be the most prestigious job in the administration after being president. As a senator he has influence over foreign policy, but as SoS he would be more directly involved. It’s a challenge and being able to remain a senator for life isn’t. Things like that, maybe.

  23. 23
    Geoduck says:

    As noted, he’s getting up there; maybe he’d like to spend four more years on the job and then just retire.

    I had somehow gotten the impression that there was a chance that Brown could be appointed to replace Kerry; if the little weasel has to actually run again, that’s not nearly as big a problem for me.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Geoduck: A Democratic governor will not appoint Brown.

  25. 25
    geg6 says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    He grew up as the son of a diplomat. It’s in his bones.

  26. 26
    danielx says:


  27. 27
    mai naem says:

    @Geoduck: Pretty sure Deval Patrick want to run for prez in 2016 and appointing Scottie Centerfold to the Senate will kill any chance he has of ever winning the Dem primary. Apart from all that, Deval ain’t stupid enough to not understand the situation in the Senate.
    I had forgotten about Barney Frank. OMG. Frank vs. Rand Paul on the floor of the Senate. Frank vs. Lindsay Graham. Frank vs.John McCain. Frank vs.Mitch McConnell. Frank vs. Kelly Ayotte. This is just too delicious. We have to have this. We deserve this.

    My only worry is Kerry still senator until a replacement is named? Does he now change his opinion on the filibuster because he wants to get confirmed? Is Frank too much of an insitutional person to go for filibuster reform?

  28. 28
    Chyron HR says:

    Another off-year special election for a MA Senate seat? Really?

    And we at all laughing!

  29. 29
    max says:

    I’m fine with Kerry as SoS, but I’d rather he were in the Senate. Taking the risk strikes me as somewhat dubious – everyone was sure that last time the Mass. seat was safe, and whaddya know. (If it should so turn that Brown wins in 2014 and we lose enough seats in the Senate to lose control of that body, then it will turn out to have been a seriously boneheaded error.)

    As for the Dems, Ed Markey’s my Representative, and while he’s never set the Charles on fire he’s been a steady vote for the reality-based community (high tech & education, particularly, those being the big-dollar local industries). Capuano’s managed to balance a district divided between the devoutly progressive (professors & students) and the working class ‘traditional’ Dems, so he’s got that experience. Lynch I know less about; he’s hardcore Party Machine, probably a Blue Dog if he got the job, and reputed to be something of a thug

    Capuano sounds like my guy.

    [‘Thug is fine, Blue Dog is not.’]

  30. 30
    Donut says:

    As much as I can embrace an establishment politician, I’m down with Kerry at State. He knows how the game is played, he does his homework, and he will take the job very seriously. I also think he sincerely came to regret his vote for the Iraq AUMF.

    I would love it if Barney could be persuaded to be a temp Senator, knowing he’ll be a reliable Democratic place-holder for only five months. There’s also a part of me that would enjoy that kind of particular little poke in the eye to the straight white male world of the GOP that would come from his appointment. Anyway, he certainly has he chops to do the job effectively. The Senate hardly spends a ton of time in session, and no one would expect him to put in a grueling schedule. Maybe he’ll do it. But I would not blame him for it turning down (assuming it even got offered). He’s more than earned a distinguished retirement, he’s got a husband he may want more time with, and he has sounded in recent interviews as though he is genuinely needing to slow down, etc.

    MA Dems, please just pick someone better than Coakley and who takes the campaign very seriously and doesn’t think they can cruise to a win, and all will turn out fine. Brown got crushed for a reason, and not just because Warren turned out to be a good candidate. He lost because of that, but also because his views and votes were out of step with his constituents.

  31. 31
    hep kitty says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: At least she was true to form.

    Apropos of nothing, but I can never forgive Elton John for performing at Rush’s (3rd? – latest) wedding.

  32. 32
    hep kitty says:

    I will never, ever forget Kerry’s Iraq war vote and subsequent support. At least Edwards, for all his many other failings, came out early and said he was wrong.

    As a Vietnam vet and someone who eventually spoke out against the war, he should have known better. I found it absolutely infuriating and hypocritical and cynical.

    “Reporting for duty” moment, I just cringed. I just wanted to crawl under a table. I was embarrassed for him and all those shamefully weak Dems. That’s when I truly stopped believing in my own party and started to hate them with a deep burning anger

    But I’ve learned not to let purity be the enemy of the good. God knows, if I haven’t learned anything else but that.

  33. 33
    Maude says:

    It’s important to have someone who knows what they’re doing at this point. He has the experience. He is hated because of the time he spoke out against the Vietnam Conflict. Conflict is the official name.
    It’s Obama’s foreign policy. Kerry carries it out.
    Foreign Service people are establishment in they are career foreign service.
    He is calm and he will change something if he see’s that he is wrong.
    I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when he’s there for a while.

  34. 34
    Nora says:

    Glad someone else noticed the quote from Elliot Abrams, and the New York Times’ careful elision of the part he played in Iran Contra. Oh, yes, he’s a go-to guy for a quote about diplomacy and politics.

    If there were any justice in the world, every single person who was involved in Iran-Contra would have been shunned immediately, and none of them would ever be referred to again, let alone sought out for quotes and jobs, except as examples of how little Republicans care about foreign policy and the law of the land.

    I would do the same for every single person who participated in George W. Bush’s administration, for the same reasons. However, obviously there is no justice.

  35. 35
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    OTOH, isn’t this the way Jan Brewer got to be governor of AZ? At least Obama is picking his second term cabinet from reliably safe Dem states this time.

  36. 36
    Mandalay says:


    Sly Stallone as John Rambo, doing as good a job of revising that sad episode in American history as can be expected from an actor who sat out the war as the chaperone at a girls’ school in Switzerland

    Not that I have a very high opinion of Stallone as a person or an actor, but Pierce may find that he needs a lawyer for that comment…

    Sylvester Stallone got an apology and an undisclosed sum in a settlement of a lawsuit against a magazine that had reported the “Rambo” star evaded military service during the Vietnam War.

    Stallone, 45, says he tried to enlist during the war but was turned down because of a bad ear.”Mr. Stallone never sought to evade his call-up,” his lawyer, Michael Skrein, said Wednesday.

    He said an article in the February issue of the British magazine The Spectator claimed Stallone “ducked the Vietnam War.”

    He said the magazine and the writer “agreed to pay him substantial damages and his legal costs.”

    Pamela Cassidy, lawyer for the magazine and the writer, said her clients “unreservedly withdraw the suggestion to which my friend has referred and apologize to the plaintiff.”

  37. 37
    Kirbster says:

    John Kerry will make a fine Secretary of State.

    I, too, am rooting for Barney Frank to be appointed as our interim Senator. Then my fantasy would be to have Scott Brown run in the special election and get clobbered all over again by another strong Massachusetts woman — Rachel Maddow.

  38. 38
    General Stuck says:


    Different rules for British papers.

  39. 39

    Scott Brown’s poll numbers are quite strong, which is puzzling seeing as he just lost. It’s almost as if MA voters feel sorry for him now. He also just reversed his position on assault weapons (he’s agin’st ’em now).

    It’d be morbidly funny if Scott Brown ended up being the first man in history to get “pity fucked” right back into the Senate after losing so badly.

  40. 40

    @hep kitty:
    Patrick plans to retire from politics in 2014. His wife hates the business. He’ll probably go back to Chicago.

    My fave of the available Dem candidates is Mike Capuano, but he’s said to be waiting for the Governorship and might not run for this one.

  41. 41
    Mandalay says:

    @General Stuck:

    Different rules for British papers.

    Right; it is generally easier to win cases like that in Britain, because it is not necessary to prove that there was malicious intent. But there was undoubtedly malicious intent in Peirce’s comment that Stallone “sat out the war as the chaperone at a girls’ school in Switzerland”, which was also false in several respects.

    I think Pierce will be hearing from Stallone’s lawyer. Stallone’s brand may be putrid, but he still needs to protect it.

  42. 42
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    This is smart. There’s a finite amount of political capital any one President has. Gotta choose your Senate battles wisely, you know-save some for SCOTUS and other things.

  43. 43
    Pococurante says:

    All hail President Hillary 2016!

  44. 44
    Paul in KY says:

    Don’t particularily like it. Gives Repubs another shot at a Senate seat. Stranger things have happened than Scott Brown somehow getting back in Senate (or another Repub winning).

    I hope we have a good candidate for his seat.

  45. 45
    weaselone says:


    Unlike the case you cited above, the portion of Pierce’s article you highlighted does not state that Stallone actively avoided service in Vietnam. It only indicates that he sat out the war, which is true. He did not serve.

  46. 46
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    I like England very much, but their libel laws are illogical and unjust

  47. 47
    Triassic Sands says:

    @mai naem:

    Frank vs. any Republican.

    The trouble is Barney is retiring. Does he really want to leave the dysfunctional House only to land in the dysfunctional Senate?

  48. 48
    Gypsy howell says:


    Pierce doesn’t say “he evaded the draft,” he says “he sat out the war”. — what part of that isn’t true?

  49. 49
    Gypsy howell says:


    Except you type faster than I do. :-)

  50. 50
    Cassidy says:

    So has Scott Brown been appointed as the replacement Senator yet?

  51. 51
    Mandalay says:


    It only indicates that he sat out the war, which is true. He did not serve.

    Are you Pierce’s lawyer? Only “indicates”??? No, Pierce lied.

    Stallone tried to enlist and was turned down. He was never a “chaperone” in Switzerland, and for most of the Vietnam war he was living and working in the United States.

    I don’t care for Stallone at all, but Pierce was off target with that comment.

  52. 52
    nellcote says:

    I’ve loathed Elliot Abrams since the Raygun days. I’m constantly disappointed that he’s stil alive.

  53. 53
    nellcote says:

    also per Steve Bennen:

    Looking ahead, it will be of particular interest to see how Kerry uses this prestigious post to elevate the climate crisis, an issue Coral Davenport recently covered in an interesting National Journal piece.
    “No senator since Al Gore knows as much about the science and diplomacy of climate change as Kerry,” said David Goldwyn, an international energy consultant who served as Clinton’s special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs. “He would not only put climate change in the top five issues he raises with every country, but he would probably rethink our entire diplomatic approach to the issue.”

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    I’m hoping that ultimately retaining Kerry’s seat in the special election was carefully considered in naming Kerry (thus giving Walnuts and Huckleberry Hound a warm and fuzzy Christmas).

    Am thinking the White House likes their chances of holding that Senate seat, and they have lots of time to help prepare.

    Maybe they’ll have OFA folks and the database out in the field early.

    Scott Brown (or another Republican) winning the special election on the rebound would be awful. Can you see the pundits and WHAT IT ALL MEANS? Don’t even want to think about that.

  55. 55
    Chris T. says:

    What makes anyone think Kerry will actually be confirmed? Just because Republicans made a show of “pick John Kerry, we like him” doesn’t mean they (1) actually like him or (2) will do anything other than continue to be against whatever Obama is for that day…

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    John McCain and the Republicans were slobbering all over themselves to have Obama pick Kerry, the very same Kerry that the GOP thought was unfit to be president. The nastier Republicans even believe that Kerry is actually their choice, reinforcing their fantasy that Obama is little more than an ineffectual black man who best do what they tell him.

    The earnest Kerry, despite his years on various committees, is a stiff whose foreign policy vision has never risen above the mentality typical of the Village.

    No matter what Charles Pierce or other commentators might say, this nomination is bullshit and if the Republicans praise it, you best be checking your odor detectors. And exactly what is it that Kerry is bringing to the job that Susan Rice did not have?

    This is not to say that Kerry will be horrible in the job. But clearly the fix was in on this nomination, and if Scott Brown somehow ends up back in the Senate, I want some Beltway insider to fess up about what Obama got in exchange. And it better be fucking huge.

  57. 57
    gravie says:

    I’m sure the right-wing will turn these hearings into s***, as they do with everything they touch.

  58. 58
    Anya says:


    The nastier Republicans even believe that Kerry is actually their choice, reinforcing their fantasy that Obama is little more than an ineffectual black man who best do what they tell him.

    Are you sure you’re not projecting your own fantasy about Obama into the loathsome republicans?

  59. 59
    Brachiator says:


    Are you sure you’re not projecting your own fantasy about Obama into the loathsome republicans?

    You have got to be kidding.

    A recent episode of the Rachel Maddow Show featured clips of Jackass John McCain and other Republican reptiles clearly overstepping their “advise and consent” roles in dumping on Susan Rice and insisting that Obama had to pick someone for State who was acceptable to them. Not that Obama should consult with them, or that they would duly deliberate on whoever he might choose.

    No, they asserted that somehow their judgement about who should be the nominee was co-equal with the judgement of the president with respect to selecting the Secretary of State. And their number one choice was John Kerry.

    Maddow was even more emphatic about the theory that the GOP end game was to get Kerry out of the Senate and to get Scott Brown back into the job. But either way, these goons revealed much about their lack of respect for Obama in the way that they tried to come up with bullshit reasons why the Secretary of State job was so special that they, as good white male Republican Members of Congress had to “help” Obama make the right choice for the office.

  60. 60
    Lojasmo says:


    No, he was an athletic coach at a girls’ school from 65-67, then received two deferments while at school at university of Miami, then failed an army physical.

  61. 61
    mclaren says:

    John Kerry is an inept inane fool. Voting in favor of the disastrously insane and self-destructive Iraq war should be a 100% guaranteed total disqualification for the position of Secretary of State.

    Appointing an ignorant gullible clown who voted for the Iraq war as Secretary of State is like nominating a career burlgar for the director of the FBI. It’s like nominating an arsonist as fire chief. It’s insane.

  62. 62
    lojasmo says:


    Big words from an anonymous internet jackass. AND before you turn the insult around, you could easily find my real-life information from my nym here, including (if my info from the dean days is still around) my home address and phone number.

    PS: I HATED Kerry as a presidential candidate, and knew he would lose, and even after Kerry and Edwards were the only two clowns standing, I still voted for Dean in my home state caucus.

  63. 63
    James E Powell says:


    Exactly. Except for the Senator Brown threat, there is nothing to argue about. The president gets to choose his cabinet.

    It is interesting, though, that no one bitching about Kerry has put another name out there. What does that say about the Democratic foreign policy bench?

  64. 64
    Triassic Sands says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    I get that he’ll be able to shape foreign policy for 4 years or whatever

    Any president worth his salt does the foreign policy shaping; the SoS just carries it out. That doesn’t mean there aren’t better and worse Secretaries, but State really should be the president’s job.

    Others may be right about Kerry’s reasons for wanting to be Secretary of State. Although I would have preferred that Obama had named someone else (I think Kerry’s seat in Massachusetts is in real danger — Democrats are well-known for coming up with bad candidates in this type of election — after all, the Democratic bench is generally pretty thin.), I can’t blame Kerry for wanting out of the Senate at this point in his career and given that he has to listen to Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell all the time, the travel schedule of a Secretary of State has to look quite attractive.

    I wish Kerry well, but with the trouble the Dems will have holding the Senate in 2014 (can they possibly be lucky enough to have the GOP self-destruct again?) the possibility of losing his seat is very unappealing.

    It will be interesting to see how Brown does. I hope other commenters are right that his conduct in the Warren campaign has permanently hurt him. While the threat of losing Kerry’s seat sucks, if the Mass Democrats can field a really good candidate who can beat Brown, that second defeat within a year could end Brown’s political career once and for all, which would be a very good thing.

  65. 65
    Anton Sirius says:

    The concern trolling over the MA Senate seat is hilarious. The GOP will not be so lucky as to face another Martha Coakley.

  66. 66
    Donut says:


    This. A thousand times. So easy to cast aspersions and deride the pick when you are free of all responsibility. I am sure there are other career diplomats besides who CAN do the job, but how many of them could get through the senate right now? Kerry will waltz on through, and he is capable, and we need someone to hit the ground running. Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel – crucial shit going down in all of these locales.

  67. 67
    nicteis says:

    Brown damaged his brand a fair bit with his mean spirited attacks on Warren, especially with women in the Bay State. He’s been marked once as a loser, and that doesn’t help him. But he’s still got the odds, especially in an off-year.

    Lynch would make a fine Democratic senator from Nebraska. From Massachusetts, not so much, and he’s too colorless to draw votes from the mushy middle who still find Brown congenial. If I could pick someone, I’d take Markey, mainly because he really gets the central importance of climate change. He’s likeable, but a bit professorial. I’m in Capuano’s district, and he’s been a terrific standup liberal. His persona is hot, scrappy, urban, and blue collar. If Brown hadn’t already burnt his bridges with women, I’d have tagged Mike C to come across as too angry to be electable. As it is, I suspect he has a slight edge over Markey.

    Either of the two has his policy homework down cold, and could make mincemeat of Brown on substance in any debate.

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