Monday, July 14, 2014

John Kerry's stamina

As Secretary of State, John Kerry has become more and more impressive, not so much for his few successes but for his ability to stay focused on an arduous job that offers constant aggravation and little chance for great success, and little chance for rest.  Until recently I was not much of a fan of Kerry.  His beliefs I could agree with for the most part, broadly speaking, but he had a way of entitled attention seeking that was annoying over the years.  Then, his campaign for President in 2004 was awkward, and while that may be the fault of his advisers and due to the less than enthusiastic support for him by the Clinton's and others who were "Hillary hoping" for 2008, it was still awkward.  His campaign will forever be defined here by that picture of him in full camouflage hunting gear, walking through a field, broken shotgun over his shoulder, one of the worst ever arranged political photo-ops.

Now he is a different John Kerry.  He seems to  seek no real credit or major face time, while he is following Obama foreign policy dictates that one can sure he does not fully agree with.  Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State was incredibly busy as well, but much of her visits to over 100 countries had to do with normal diplomatic missions and women's rights issues, plus Bubba liked to tag along for the cushy travel, the attention, and shopping at times.  She certainly had her share of crises, but Kerry's plate is full of 100% crisis.  Dealing with the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Afghans, the Iraqis, Syria, Egypt, Iran --- what has been left out here, it's overwhelming.  He soldiers on, making those totally discredited Karl Rove orchestrated "Swift Boat" attacks in 2004 seem all the more heinous, despicable, what is the right word.

We hope here that his latest work on Afghanistan's flawed election process and reworking its Constitution to give more power sharing to the ultimate government leaders is successful.  We need a success and he needs a success.  Maybe Obama will even share some credit with him if this current Afghan effort works out as a successful compromise.



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