Yes, Kerry is Wrong for Scrty of State

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

In response to my discussion of how Senator John Kerry would inevitably embarrass and demoralize an Obama Administration if Kerry were nominated for secretary of state, one commenter defended Kerry and said, "what's your beef?"

(The reader ignored my reminder to readers that Larry Summers, being considered for Treasury Secretary, was driven out of the presidency of Harvard University in 2005 after he said that women are inherently less intelligent and capable than men in math and science. Won't they ask him if he still believes that during his confirmation hearings? If he's too much of a sexist to be presidency of Harvard University, then why would we want to make him Secretary of the Treasury.)

As for my beef with any John Kerry's nomination for state, it's that Senator Kerry (1) chose John Edwards as his vice presidential running mate and then Edwards rolled over in his debate with Cheney, and Edwards later turned out to be a lying, narcissistic stuffed shirt; (2) Kerry's 2004 campaign was disorganized and aimless, and he was personally listless as a candidate, unable to explain his vote for the IWR in the context of his opposition to the war; but, above all, his inept joke about the troops in Iraq convinced him and everyone else that he should not be the Democratic standard bearer in 2008.

That argument is over, but the question now is whether having Kerry on television every night, perhaps more than Obama himself, is the best public relations move for this new administration.  It's NOT.

If nominated for such a high-profile position, Kerry will bumble in terms of developing plans to end the war in Iraq and fight or end the war in Afghanistan;  Kerry will have to be entrusted with covert operations that will embarrass Obama when their ineptitude becomes apparent, and Kerry will constantly say inept or incomprehensible things that Obama and his spokespeople will then have to explain to the public in English.

Obama would be better off appointing himself secretary of state than appointing Kerry.

Moreover, Bill Richardson has far more experience, is a much better public speaker, has actually negotiated with foreign countries on behalf of the United States, and comes from a state and a demographic group that is not a "gimme" in 2012.

The only reason to nominate Kerry over Susan Rice or Bill Richardson is that Kerry is a white man.  In light of his disadvantages, the fact that he is a white man is not a good enough reason.  

Everyone acknowledges that Colin Powell has more experience, is a better speaker, knows the military, is respected inside and outside of the military, would please more conservative and independent voters, and is loyal to a fault.  He effectively switched parties to support Barack Obama's candidacy.

That puts even Colin Powell head and shoulders above John Kerry.  

So, let's start this administration correctly, by choosing good communicators and policy executers over poor ones for critical public roles representing the new administration.  

Tags: Iraq, IWR, Kerry, obama (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Re: Majority of Non-Partisan will not

I agree with you 100%

All I will say it majority of americans who are Non-Partisan, mainstream voters will NOT be overly impressed with Kerry as Secretary of State.

Obama wants a mix of " New breed of outstanding leaders" that represent his generation. Combined with a few outstanding key people of the prosperous Bill Clinton era.

When most people hears John Kerry, one does not get the same aura of a Colin Powell.

Many still associate Kerry to his weak, losing run in 04.

by labanman 2008-11-08 08:31AM | 0 recs
Are you capable

of writing anything which isn't racially charged?

by sricki 2008-11-08 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, Kerry is Wrong for Scrty of State

the main one is that Kerry's not the best, and obviously and that it would be perceived as favor returning. Kerry kept Hillary out of having a role in that convention and he chose Barack to give the key-note address. he then backed Barack, at first secretly, and later out in public.

Barack can pick the very best of the very best, and i think he's unlikely to 'return favors' when there is a better choice. Axerod is actually brilliant and ran his campaign very well.  Many of those who were with him in the primary are the best at what they did.

Kerry and Daschele voted for the war and spoke in favor of invasion.  Biden and Hillary voted for the war authorization and spoke in favor of letting the inspectors complete the job. Both said they voted to give Bush better ability to demand inspectors in the places Saddam had previoiusy barred them, like his palaces.

Neither Kerry nor Dashale should be rewarded because they backed Barack early on.  They're not the best available by a long shot, and we need the best.  

by anna shane 2008-11-08 09:04AM | 0 recs
split the difference

I like Daschle, never had much use for Kerry.

You've been pretty consistent in favoring Clinton-people over non-Clinton people, so your opposition to early endorsers of Obama seems like you want to penalize people who picked Obama over HRC in the primaries.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-08 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: split the difference

not all of them and Hillary people are Barack people now. it's the experience thing, they've been there and they know the history of how things get fucked up, but Barack already had some great people. I just think he should  pick the best.  I  think Axlerod is a great choice, if I were like that I would not want him.  

by anna shane 2008-11-08 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, Kerry is Wrong for Scrty of State

Good points. Although, despite his recent conversion, I think Colin Powell is a terrible idea no one should be rewarded for lying us into war.

And thanks for writing a diary that's so different in topic and tone than what you usually write. I hope to read more like this from you in the future.

by LakersFan 2008-11-08 09:34AM | 0 recs
Huh?

You're mad at John Kerry because John Edwards turned out to be a mediocre VP pick and an adulterer?  I am not a big fan of John Kerry, but I really don't understand what he has to do with John Edwards.

by psychodrew 2008-11-08 10:28AM | 0 recs
Kerry has trouble making decisions

Kerry does seem to trust his instincts and have sense of when to go with them.  At least on issues related to running his campaign and on decisions of war and peace (Gulf Wars I and II; the first we had to fight, the second was a mistake.  He got both of them wrong, in my opinion.)

Running a poor campaign might not mean that one can't be a good diplomat (consider Averell (sp?) Harriman: "first in war, first in peace, and last in the general elections"), but I see no evidence of compensating talents in Kerry.

Powell is too contaminated by his complicity in the runup to Iraq.  He was too much the good soldier and client/protege of the elder Bush.  Might be very effective as a special envoy--Darfur, southern Africa, etc.  Would fit his talents well.  Also, I wonder if, at his age and at this time, he has a burning desire for the SOS job.  But maybe he does.

by Reptile 2008-11-08 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, Kerry is Wrong for Scrty of State

I would not be impressed with this choice.. I don't think Kerry has necessarily earned a cabinet post...maybe an ambassadorship if he wants it..but thats about it...

by obama4presidente 2008-11-08 12:39PM | 0 recs
Fair is fair

Payback time.   Kerry did what he was supposed to early in the race and worked hard throughout.

by RichardFlatts 2008-11-08 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Fair is fair

Obama's obligation is to the American people, not to politicians who helped him.

The only proper reason for Obama to pick Kerry is if he thinks Kerry would be the best for the job.

by Aris Katsaris2 2008-11-08 03:06PM | 0 recs
Richardson is the best choice

not Kerry.  Richard Holbrooke would be better than Kerry.  So would Wes Clarke, for that matter, though I'd rather see him in another post.  Still, Bill Richardson is the best of the bunch.  Ambassador to China is not high profile enough.  If not Secretary of State, the perhaps National Security Advisor?  Richardson deserves a top diplomatic job because he's an excellent diplomat.  Kerry has no experience whatsoever.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-11-08 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, Kerry is Wrong for Scrty of State

Pretty substance-free diary.

"Kerry shouldn't be Secretary of State because he ran a bad presidential campaign and botched a joke!"

Glad you're focused on his diplomatic stances, his relationships with other world leaders, and other things that are actually relevant to the position.

You bolster your thin argument with mere assertions and declarations: He'll bumble Iraq! He'll run inept covert operations! Okay, so where's your proof? Your links to in-depth analysis? Your empirical data? What makes you so completely certain?

The 2004 election was traumatic for many of us, but your diary comes off as nothing more than a bitter piss-in-the-pool diatribe four years later.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-11-08 04:02PM | 0 recs

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