U.S. president Barack Obama is expected to nominate U.S. senator John Kerry today to succeed U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who will leave the U.S. state department as one of the most admired public servants in the United States, despite the grumbling over the 9/11 Benghazi attack.
I’ve argued for a long time that the senior senator from Massachusetts is by and far the best choice for the position, and he topped my pre-election list of potential top diplomats; James Traub over at Foreign Policy made the case expertly shortly after Obama’s re-election:
John Kerry is Hillary Clinton in pants. (Yes, I know, Secretary Clinton also wears pants.) He came within a whisker of being president — much closer than she did — and thus enjoys the aura of the almost-commander in chief. He is, like Clinton, a kind of living embodiment of America. He is immensely solemn and judicious, like her, but, unlike her, immensely tall. He is a decorated veteran with the iron grip of the ex-athlete. His baritone voice bespeaks bottomless gravitas. The man looks and acts more like a secretary of state than anyone since George Marshall. As a casting decision, it’s a no-brainer….
It has to be very flattering to be so earnestly interrogated by an enormously tall man who was almost president of the United States.
But it’s not all his tall, lanky body or his distinctive granite jaw. There are other substantial reasons to appoint Kerry, many of which emphasize Kerry’s role at the heart of U.S. foreign policy for over five decades: Continue reading Five reasons why Kerry’s appointment as U.S. secretary of state is a slam-dunk