It’s hard to like John Kerry. Ask the other 99 members of the US Senate. His staff. The American people. But it is a testament to Obama’s other dreadful nominations floated for national security jobs that Kerry suddenly looks…ok. Susan Rice for SecState, who lied to the American people about Benghazi for whatever reason — political expediency, stupidity. Chuck Hagel for SecDef, still out there floating like a lead balloon despite an execrable record on everything from Iraq to Syria to Hamas to Afghanistan to Iran. Another (former) member of the senate who left that institution with no friends in his own party, and few among his newfound political allies either.
I’ve written on many occasions about Kerry’s own ineffectual and wrongheaded record on national security, here and here for a start. Kerry was wrong on the surge in Iraq, embarrassingly wrong in his faith in the reforming credentials of Bashar al Assad, wrong in his bizarre support for managed aid to Pakistan (for which we should also blame outgoing Senator Dick Lugar and Rep. Howard Berman), and too often just… wrong. His chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been an exercise in futility. But… he is not a loon. He is not a fool. That, apparently, is now the bar that must be leapt over for the Obama cabinet.
I don’t know about the rest of my compadres in the foreign policy community, but I for one will miss Hillary Clinton.