Why Kerry for SoS?

I haven’t heard any clear explanation of why Obama selected Sen Kerry - or any sitting Dem Senator - for Secretary of State. Any thoughts?

Not saying Kerry isn’t qualified, but wouldn’t there be folk nearly as qualified who wouldn’t potentially reduce the number of Dem Senators?

Is the thinking that he will be a slamdunk confirmation?

Any reason to think he is uniquely qualified to accomplish any specific foreign policy agenda items?

Or is the thinking that it doesn’t make much difference between 54/45/1 and 53/46/1?

Is there anybody saying that Kerry might run for President again? It could be a calculated CV booster.

Because he’s there. In his defense he’s also been on the Foreign Relations Committee for 20 years and he’s been chairman since 2009 (Biden was the chairman before he became VP). And yes, since he’s in the Senate it’s expected he will be confirmed without a lot of trouble.


Kerry’s been very close to the Obama administration, and has led many foreign and diplomatic trips for the White House. Also, supposedly he really, really wants it.

The thinking probably is that Scott Brown was a fluke. Massachusetts Senate seats have been pretty safe for the Democrats for decades. With the exception of Brown, no Republican has been elected since 1972.

I thought I heard on the radio yesterday that some Repub was polling highest as a possible replacement.

It might be foolish in the short run, but Kerry’s seat comes up for election in 2014 (I think–maybe it’s 2016) and if he’s told the President “I want SoS, and I’m not going to run for re-election, so you might as well have Deval Patrick appoint my immediate replacement, and then have a run off election now while Scott Brown’s reputation has been tarnished and he hasn’t had a chance to build it up again,” it might make the most sense. Obama can’t force Kerry to run for re-election.

Insofar as “will get a 2/3 vote in the Senate” is a qualification (meaning a not insignificant number of Republicans need to be on board), there is no one qualified who isn’t a Democratic senator.

ETA: And it doesn’t make a meaningful difference in numbers, since 54 and 55 are both between 50 and 60.

Well, how about nominating a Repub Senator? :stuck_out_tongue:

We know he wants the job - he wanted it in 2008, too - but the rest of this logic is pretty dicey. There’s no reason to believe Kerry would retire (there are about 30 Senators older than he is), and even if he weren’t running again, Massachusetts is heavily Democratic and whoever runs to replace Kerry in the 2013 special election could have just as easily run in 2014. The timing here really isn’t good, but Rice dropped out, Kerry has the right resume, his seat is safe, and should get confirmed. So the job is his.

Like Hagel might get nominated for Defense? I’m actually hoping that one gets shot down.

No, but he might prefer SoS to continuing to serve in the Seante, and he might have used his retirement as leverage to get the offer. IOW, “Mr. President, I’m not going to serve past this term anyway, so you wouldn’t be giving up all that much in giving up my seat for now.”

Oh, that John Kerry! Shit, for a second there, I thought they were taking about that radical hippy guy, the unpatriotic swine who helped found the Viet Nam Veterans Against the War. No way the Republicans would ever vote for a guy like that! And the other John Kerry is from Mass, too? Far out.

Don’t forget featured in that radical commie comic, Doonesbury way back when!




Sorta…similar, ain’t it?

I’m confused about Kerry. I remember how he got Swiftboated in 2004. I checked out a copy of “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry” and read it. That’s all it took for me to form an opinion about Mr. Kerry, and that opinion wasn’t favorable.

Now, Swiftboated seems to have taken on a meaning of an unjust or untrue political attack. As far as I could tell, the attack was neither unjust or untrue. Have I missed something?

I can’t imagine Kerry running for POTUS again without this becoming a major issue. I’d rather the Dems field someone who didn’t bring the baggage to the campaign.

“Swiftboating” means complete mendacious misrepresentation of someone’s positions, policies or past for partisan reasons. If you were exposed to the facts in 2004 and came away thinking that Kerry was being fairly criticized by non-partisan critics, you got taken by the swiftboaters.

Every candidate’s history has certain facts that are capable of being spun to make him look terrible, some of them deservedly and some not. If the Dems, for example, were to claim of McCain that he broke under torture and gave information to his captors that was harmful to the US, and harp on this, however specious the argument or dubious the people making them, forcing McCain to defend his actions and turning his heroism while a captive into a net burden on his campaign, that would be an example of swiftboating.

Did you read the book? It’s pretty hard not to form an opinion of a guy who grounded his boat, then sat there for hours, unable to move, waiting for the tide to come in, exposing his boat and crew to potential enemy action and harm, because he didn’t want to call for help and admit he’d grounded his boat. That’s one of many stories. Was I taken in by believing that?

That didn’t come across quite right. (my last post) It wasn’t meant as an attack, it was meant to look at the “fair and just” nature of the accusations.

Well, I can tell you this much for sure! While GeeDubya was protecting the sky above Amarillo, not a single successful attack by the Viet Cong Air Force occurred.

Yes you were taken in. They completely distorted Kerry’s record during the war. Most of the people involved in SBVFT are liars who engaged in a politcal smear of John Kerry.


Apparently the main candidate on the dem side is going to be Ed Markey. Speaking as somebody from Mass I really don’t see how Brown has any chance at all of beating him.