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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:44 PM

Defense Secretary?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-considers-john-kerry-for-job-of-defense-secretary/2012/11/12/8a0e973a-2d02-11e2-a99d-5c4203af7b7a_story.html

Obama considering John Kerry for job of defense secretary

President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus.

Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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Arrow 75 replies Author Time Post
Reply Defense Secretary? (Original post)
beachmom Nov 2012 OP
msongs Nov 2012 #1
beachmom Nov 2012 #3
beachmom Nov 2012 #2
NMDemDist2 Nov 2012 #4
beachmom Nov 2012 #5
Mass Nov 2012 #13
wisteria Nov 2012 #14
ProSense Nov 2012 #6
beachmom Nov 2012 #7
ProSense Nov 2012 #11
wisteria Nov 2012 #16
wisteria Nov 2012 #15
TomClash Nov 2012 #8
fearnobush Nov 2012 #9
beachmom Nov 2012 #10
Mass Nov 2012 #12
JI7 Nov 2012 #17
beachmom Nov 2012 #20
karynnj Nov 2012 #18
ProSense Nov 2012 #19
beachmom Nov 2012 #21
Mass Nov 2012 #22
Mass Nov 2012 #23
Blaukraut Nov 2012 #24
JI7 Nov 2012 #29
politicasista Nov 2012 #26
beachmom Nov 2012 #25
Mass Nov 2012 #27
karynnj Nov 2012 #28
Mass Nov 2012 #30
beachmom Nov 2012 #31
Mass Nov 2012 #32
JI7 Nov 2012 #34
beachmom Nov 2012 #36
wisteria Nov 2012 #64
JI7 Nov 2012 #67
wisteria Nov 2012 #70
karynnj Nov 2012 #33
beachmom Nov 2012 #35
karynnj Nov 2012 #37
beachmom Nov 2012 #38
wisteria Nov 2012 #40
Inuca Nov 2012 #45
wisteria Nov 2012 #41
karynnj Nov 2012 #42
Mass Nov 2012 #39
JI7 Nov 2012 #43
Mass Nov 2012 #44
wisteria Nov 2012 #46
wisteria Nov 2012 #47
beachmom Nov 2012 #49
wisteria Nov 2012 #54
Mass Nov 2012 #50
wisteria Nov 2012 #55
beachmom Nov 2012 #48
MBS Nov 2012 #60
wisteria Nov 2012 #72
Noisy Democrat Nov 2012 #75
rock Nov 2012 #51
wisteria Nov 2012 #57
Blue Nile Nov 2012 #52
wisteria Nov 2012 #56
protect our future Nov 2012 #53
Mass Nov 2012 #58
wisteria Nov 2012 #59
wisteria Nov 2012 #61
MBS Nov 2012 #62
wisteria Nov 2012 #63
karynnj Nov 2012 #68
wisteria Nov 2012 #69
wisteria Nov 2012 #71
Mass Nov 2012 #65
wisteria Nov 2012 #66
Noisy Democrat Nov 2012 #74
wisteria Nov 2012 #73

Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:46 PM

1. at least Kerry is a dem lol...but maybe better he stays in the senate nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:47 PM

3. Leon Panetta is a Dem.

I think Kerry wants out of the Senate. That is what I suspect. One last career before semi-retirement.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:46 PM

2. First thoughts:

Will his past anti-war activities be a problem? I thought that was always an issue with the military. This may be a trial balloon. I think Kerry would be great at this job, although State seems a better fit. Still, Pres. Obama is known for coming up with innovative postings. Hillary at State was definitely a surprise.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:47 PM

4. we'll get a good Dem from Duvall Patrick but when is Kerry's seat up for re-election?

the appointment would need 4 years to make sure Brown's machine gets rusty before the next run

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:52 PM

5. More details from Chuck Todd:

Significant group of folks in WH pushing for Rice at State, but others feel Kerry deserves big slot, how idea of Pentagon popped up. But...

..Panetta plans to stay at least through late Spring. So this won't happen for a while.


Maybe that is so they can get set up in MA for open seat?

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Response to beachmom (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:15 PM

13. Or may be it is just the people wanting Rice making noise.

Frankly, if this was a done deal, I am not sure that so many people would be leaking things all around like that. This reminds me of the noises of Kaine as VP. It was also a done deal. Until Obama decided otherwise.

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Response to Mass (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:57 PM

14. Exactly.

Way to much noise for Rice, coming from unnamed sources close to discussions.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:55 PM

6. Sounds bogus. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:59 PM

7. I don't think it's bogus. I just think it is a trial balloon that might deflate quickly.

They're seeing how people react. Rice is going to have some problems being confirmed because of Benghazi. So to me Kerry is best at SoS. Only time will tell.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:37 PM

11. Yeah, maybe I'm missing something, but

when did Kerry express interest in being Sec. of Defense?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:04 PM

16. Never I think. LOL n/t

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Response to beachmom (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:02 PM

15. That could be to. He is more suited for SOS, IMO.

And, I think he is not only well qualified, but deserving of this position. Although, being deserving doesn't always count for too much. Seems popularity wins out way to often. I am not thrilled at all with the SOD position, it somehow looks like a consolation prize he will have to wait for. I honestly do not understand all the clamoring around Rice. I think she would be the wrong SOS for our current needs.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:06 PM

8. I'm good with it

A fine man superbly qualified for the job.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:07 PM

9. How about Jim Webb.

Seems like a natural fit if he wants the job.

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Response to fearnobush (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:16 PM

10. I haven't heard his name come up. I don't think he actually cared for politics, so he might not

want the gig.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:06 PM

12. More DC parlor games.

At this point, people within the administration are pushing THEIR ideas in the media. One of these configurations may end up being what Obama decides, but who knows which one.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:20 PM

17. Can't see certain people ever accepting Kerry for This position

but times are changing and what maybe just 4 years ago would have been something he would never have been considered may have changed.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:28 AM

20. Republicans actually saying same thing I did:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/republicans-pan-potential-white-house-push-for-ker

I really do not relish re-litigating Vietnam again which is exactly what would happen if Kerry were nominated for DoD secretary. Plus Rice and Benghazi. I actually thought Hillary wants to stay on to wrap up the investigation of what happened in Benghazi.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:59 AM

18. For what is it worth, the same WP just a few day's ago, said Kerry was a no go because Reid

wants him in the Senate. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/11/09/harry-reid-could-keep-john-kerry-from-secretary-of-state/

There are so many reasons why this seems more an effort to argue Rice for SOS.

1) Many articles - including the BG - mentioned that there were 2 "jobs Kerry always wanted" and they did not feel the need to explain that they were President and SOS. (In fact, Kerry himself has spoken of a third job that he loves - that is being Senator and Chair of SFRC.)

2) There are many who might feel that Obama is attacking the military by choosing someone who many on the right believe the smear that he attacked soldiers in 1971, though nothing is further from the truth.

3) If Obama has an ambiguous agenda of changing the military and ending the wars, he could best do this with a SOD who the military embraces wholeheartedly.

This may suggest that, in fact, Reid is NOT speaking against it. This makes sense given the Senate count and the likelihood that a great MA candidate could run against Brown's record - that he refused to speak about in the race with Warren.

Note that this is also written with the hypothesis that Susan Rice will be picked listed as a foregone conclusion. It may well be that Obama (or others on the foreign policy team) prefer Rice. It might even be that they (not Obama) realize that Kerry will be a bigger force on the team and their vested interest is for a weaker member of the team.

I think taking any cabinet position has one down side for Kerry. I think he likes things like town halls, meeting people and the political life. However, even as a young man he was fascinated by diplomacy and has demonstrated that he is very good at it. The NYT magazine last fall had a long article on Kerry that shows his genuine, innate diplomatic skill. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/magazine/john-kerry-our-man-in-kabul.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Kerry has been honest in saying that he did want to be SOS in 2008 when he could have denied it. I think Susan Rice would be a good choice, but I hate that many people pushing her have tried to make the argument by suggesting that the choice of Kerry is a bad one.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:20 AM

19. Great points.

I think Kerry would be an excellent choice for SoS.

Still, he has a very high profile, independent and involved position as Chair of the SFRC. He may not want to give that up. I really like him in that role.

If he did decide to accept a cabinet position, it would be a wonderful cap to an extraordinary career.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:31 AM

21. Gleeful tweets from Republicans that Scott Brown will have his Senate seat back.

Sigh, they have a point. I don't trust Mass. to get this right. And there won't be much of a turnout like Election Day. That favors Republicans. Talk me down, folks. Ezra Klein also annoyed that we would give up a seat, so good guys thinking this way as well.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:42 AM

22. I am so tired of the irrational fear of this idiot.

Sorry to say that, but the main reason Brown got its seat in the first place is that NO Dems (Not Coakley, but also not Menendez as chair of the DSCC, not Kaine as head of the DNC, not whoever was the chair of the MA Democratic Party at the time) even consider she could lose. They were so disengaged that the MA Democratic Party even aired an ad with Massachusetts misspelled. And, even with this, she only lost by 5 at a time when the White House was highly unpopular both from the left and the right.

Now we know it is possible. We won two election cycles against MA moderate Dems (I am not counting Brown in there) that the same Cassandras had said we would lose (Baker and Tisei were so great, you know).

I do not relish the idea of another vote, but, assuming that the Obama government does not become as unpopular that it was in Jan 2010, we would win this one too, as long as we work on it and do not assume it was a done deal.

Enough is enough.

Note: I hope Kerry stays, but I am so disillusioned with the DC political media that I do not know whether I will trust anything they write anymore (at least not for a while). At this point, most of the stories they publish are leaks by some person who is trying to push its/her own talking points. Nothing is officially sourced. This is not reporting. This is not any better than People Magazine. In fact, I am certain People Magazine checks their sources better than that.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:04 AM

23. I really dislike Kornaki, but I am surprised and happy to read this.

(in passing, note that Kornaki is not a Kerry fan - He is already framing Kerry as SoS as Obama caving to the GOP)

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/13/john_kerry_and_the_ghost_of_scott_brown/

Apparently, Barack Obama is serious about rewarding John Kerry with a top Cabinet post in his second administration. The Massachusetts senator, who delivered a rousing convention speech in Charlotte and played Mitt Romney in the president’s debate prep sessions, is reportedly under consideration to run either the Defense or State Departments.

Right now, most of the speculation is focused on the Pentagon, with Obama preferring to place his longtime friend Susan Rice at State. But Republican attacks on Rice over the Benghazi episode threaten to produce a bloody confirmation battle if Obama taps her. Democrats will have 55 votes (counting Angus King and Bernie Sanders) in the Senate come January, so in theory Obama would have the numbers to win that battle. But some of those Democrats – like, for instance, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – could face home state pressure to defect if it became a clearly partisan fight.

Maybe Obama, emboldened by his victory last week, will embrace a confrontation with the GOP over Rice. But if he’s dissuaded, then Kerry could be his fallback option. And if not State, then Kerry is being floated as a potential replacement for Leon Panetta at the Defense Department.

...
The stumbling block is this: If Kerry takes an administration post, it will open his Senate seat and trigger a special election sometime in 2013. And that, Democrats fear, could open the door for Scott Brown, who was defeated by Elizabeth Warren last week, to make a comeback.

There is something to be said for this fear. While he lost last week, Brown retains a committed following and remains one of the more popular politicians in Massachusetts — and definitely the most popular Republican. And in a special election, voter turnout would be down significantly from the presidential year swell that sank him last week, and the voting universe would probably look more like the one that elected him in January 2010. And while Brown’s addition wouldn’t change the Senate’s partisan balance next year, it could have ramifications in 2014, when Democrats will face a tough map and the prospect of several lost seats.

But even though Brown would be formidable, the threat he poses to Democrats may be overstated.
...
Brown’s five-point special election win over Martha Coakley in ’10 remains the only victory for Republicans in a race for federal office in Massachusetts since 1994. He’s also the only Republican to win one of the state’s Senate seats since 1972. Some unique circumstances contributed to his surprise victory of Coakley. He’d by no means be a shoo-in in a special election next year – especially since, unlike in ’10, Democrats wouldn’t take the race for granted. Already, there is talk that Governor Deval Patrick wouldn’t use the state’s interim appointment law to anoint a caretaker senator during the campaign – that this time, he’d appoint someone who’d run for the seat, giving that individual some of the advantages of incumbency.
...

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Response to Mass (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:18 PM

24. Kerry would make as good a Defense Secretary as Secretary of State. That said, though...

I hope the position(s) will be offered by the Obama Administration very publicly, and declined by Kerry just as publicly, citing the precarious Senate majority. While we are in good standing right now in the Senate, 2014 will be a massacre if they're not prepared to defend numerous Dems who will be up for reelection. So every seat we have now counts to holding on to a really slim majority.

Still, if it has to happen that JK accepts either position, Patrick needs to appoint himself to the vacant seat AND run in the subsequent special election.

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Response to Blaukraut (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:15 AM

29. Kerry wants it, if he really didn't there would be no point to consider him

as he could easily tell Obama that he does not want to be considered. it would look bad on his part for letting them go through this and if they do ask him for him to turn it down.

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Response to Mass (Reply #23)


Response to beachmom (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 02:48 PM

25. A few more points

A. Here is Ezra Klein's post on being dismayed by WH appointments of important elected officials:

Does the White House want Mitch McConnell to be majority leader?

B. As Defense Secretary, will Kerry really want to deal with this tawdry affair (in helpful flow chart format)?

http://gawker.com/5960202/a-flowchart-of-the-petraeus-affairs-love-pentagon-from-the-shirtless-fbi-agent-to-chuck-klosterman

I really hope that he either stays in the Senate or gets the SoS appointment.

Edits for weird format problem

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Response to Mass (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:09 AM

28. this does make sense

My base reaction is that this leak was intensely not friendly. Suggesting Kerry for a position that he is not that good a match for (and especially with the emotional nature of this) does nothing other than get him criticized - when he never asked for this.

I understand that Obama can not say that Kerry was ruled out because he was needed in the Senate. If his intended nominee is Rice that undercuts her by suggesting that she was really his second choice. What stinks is that Kerry has done each and everything asked of him - and did them very very well and this is a repeat of last time where he was trashed by the people wanting Clinton. Yet because Obama is President, he knows that there is no cost to him allowing this to happen because he knows that Kerry will continue to do everything possible to move the country forward. It seems that it would have been so easy just to let Kerry take himself out of the running - either because MA would be left if 2 Senators with a combined less than 1 year of seniority or specific things he wants to do in the Senate. I know the beltway insiders are brutal, but this was avoidable.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #28)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:26 AM

30. Actually, this leak is a progress.

It shows that Kerry is respected enough and a SERIOUS candidate for SoS, serious enough that those who want to skip him as SoS offer an alternative. It is seriously progress.

I may be too naive here, but I still do not understand why the assumption is that Rice is THE choice for Obama. From what I read, the choice is not made, otherwise what is the point of the leaks?Fankly, there are too manythings going around (Petraeus, Syria, Lybia,...). My experience with these types of reporting these last four years is that it is not done. Some people are having trial balloons, and we definitively do not know by whom). (Also remember this comes from the same media who are totally making fools of themselves with the Petraeus's investigation, talking before knowing). I would cool off and wait to see what happens.

I dont expect the decision to be made for weeks (remember that it would be Kerry's role to get the 60 votes and how it would be awkward for him, so I hope they will not try to force it right now), and I think we will have a few weeks of these iterations. I just wonder who is behind the leaks (and there is no reason to believe it is the president).

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Response to Mass (Reply #30)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:41 AM

31. Incidentally, if Rice IS his choice, I totally agree with Kevin Drum that the Benghazi stuff

she is being attacked by Republicans on is just utter crap.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/11/its-time-republican-freakout-over-susan-rice-stop

She did nothing wrong in what she said on those Sunday shows.

I do prefer Kerry for SoS, but I don't have any objections against Rice; only that I think Kerry would be better.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:46 AM

32. Totally agree.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:05 PM

34. if Rice is picked KErry will have a huge Role in DEfending her

i think he would do so now if now if not for the questions about SOS.

he did defend her before though .

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Response to JI7 (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:34 PM

36. Totally agree. Counter McCain/Graham.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #34)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:00 PM

64. I don't think he should be placed in a position to defend her at all.

How would you like to have to praise and defend the person less qualified then yourself that got the postion you wanted? He might do it, and probably would, but it should not be expected of him.

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Response to wisteria (Reply #64)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:29 PM

67. he is on the senate foreign relations committee, and he would be defending

her against the lies the republicans are attacking her with.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #67)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:42 PM

70. Possibly, but others could do perform that role too. n/t

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Response to Mass (Reply #30)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:50 AM

33. Thanks for the wise words

All your points make sense. It very likely is NOT Obama leaking as he has no need to influence himself. After thinking of your points, I suspect the SOD stuff is likely offered to suggest there is a way to have both of these people. However, doing so guarantees two fights at a time that Obama does not need fights. Picking Kerry for state and Hagel (or some military connected person) for defense might be two easy confirmations. Rice did tell the media that she would be happy staying at the UN as long as Obama wants and (unlike Kerry) she is young enough that she would be an obvious candidate in 2016, 2020, or 2024 when we have a Democrat in office.

There was also a lot of praise for Kerry as SOS from important Republicans in the Senate - not just as a negative to Rice or happiness that they could possibly get Brown back, but genuine praise for his work, integrity and abilities. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83771.html

I was so happy to see this article because it reaffirms the praise that people like Corker and Lugar have given Kerry on the SFRC committee. I think that the title is true EVEN if there were no problem with Benghazi. The praise given was for Kerry, not against someone else. Senator Cardin makes a very strong case for Kerry:


Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) defended Rice, saying she has done an “outstanding job” as U.N. ambassador to the U.S. But he said Kerry would benefit from his decades spent building relationships on Capitol Hill.
“Sen. Kerry is under consideration for a high position because he’s talented, has tremendous integrity and respect — he also happens to be a senator,” Cardin, who also serves on the committee, told POLITICO.
“Part of your responsibility in the administration is your relationship with the Senate and House, and obviously Sen. Kerry has an incredible relationship. I think colleagues on both sides of the aisle will tell you that.”


(Rice people could say that over the last 4 years, Kerry used his position to get all the Senate votes fixed and could continue to do that - as a Senator.)


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Response to karynnj (Reply #33)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:33 PM

35. What does everyone think of the POTUS's rightful defense of Rice today?

I just feel like he is leaning toward her. If Kerry isn't going to be SoS, I would prefer he stay in the Senate. I just don't think the SoD is a good gig for him. All jest aside, this bizarre scandal with Petraeus, Allen, et al is going to be something the SoD has to deal with. At this point, it would be best if Leon Panetta stayed in that position. There are also a lot of elements in the military that are anti-Kerry. I just don't see how that would work.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #35)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:19 PM

37. I could see it either way

Consider that he wanted someone else, how would he respond? In that case, it is actually more important that he respond very clearly and very strongly. Not to mention, she represented HIS administration - so it really does come back to him. He either had to back her arguing that she did nothing wrong or remove her. (Unlike one DU thread suggested, this does not end the problem and likely would intensify it because she would have just been in the cover up. (of what no one has even speculated) I would have thought far less of Obama if he did not stand behind someone doing exactly what he wanted them to do - and it is clear he likes her. (Note he defended Kerry against the less damaging charge that Kerry was too honest to have played a tough Romney. )

What I do think is that if the WP scenario is correct, Obama is INTENTIONALLY risking two major fights on two key national security posts. Kerry likely would still be confirmed as SOD, but with the changes that everyone knows are anticipated Obama likely should want someone with impeccable, friendly connections with the military --- and I doubt Webb was alone in refusing to shake hands with Kerry for 30 years! Not to mention, the first thing that is an issue is this sleazy onnection to the Petraeous scandal. It will be a tough job for anyone, but probably harder for Kerry than many others.

I think that unless something changes, I think she might have a very tough confirmation hearing. I have not heard a single Republican Senator defend her. Even Collins says questions need to be answered. (I think she is up in 2014 - so that means that she will at least for the next 2 years lean to her right to avoid a primary.) Look at the Republicans left in the new Senate. Collins is the left most - and Lugar, Brown and Snowe are gone. Graham, himself, might be the next most moderate - and he is out front against her. We could also lose some Democrats in reddish states that are up. In contrast, many Republicans have praised Kerry.

The choice comes down to 2 easy nominations - Kerry (or someone else who Republicans are ok with) for state and someone the military is happy with for SOD or 2 tough, bruising fights that could hurt both the nominees (esp Rice) and Obama. If he nominates Rice and she is rejected, it could be worse for her future than staying low here.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #37)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:44 PM

38. Although few GOP Senators have said anything.

I really don't know. I feel like the POTUS set it up today like if he doesn't nominate Rice, that he caved. I don't like that. His sentence on her and possibly being SoS was going further than he had to.

Obama could just nominate boring people, you know. They don't have to be "stars". At this point, I'm ready to just wait and see what happens, because I feel pretty conflicted about it all.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #38)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:07 PM

40. I think he has to nominate her now or look like he caved.

Whether she was the first choice or not. And, anyway you look at it Senator Kerry is screwed. The "Brown will win his seat back" talk began even before he lost the election, and I personally think it has no merit. But, it looks like some Repubs are pushing Kerry in hopes they gain a seat, and the administration seems to be taking this seriously. I said it before, but I will say it again, we had less of a majority when Clinton was nominated for State and no one gave a damn about the numbers in the senate. If the President nominate Rice and she isn't confirmed, and then Kerry is offered the post, it will always look like he was the second, and less worthy choice. We know better, but the perception will be out there.
The Secretary of Defense post isn't even available right now. The talk seems to be about Kerry remaining in the Senate until 2014 and then being offered the SOD position if things go ok in the elections. In other words, he really isn't being offered anything at all. The way things are playing out are just disgusting, and Kerry loses no matter what. His best option right now seems to be just to stay where he is and say thanks but no thanks.

And, on a personal note, I was hoping that this would be Senator Kerry's time to shine in a new position he was born to serve in, but I always feared the President and his team would pass him over once again and it appears I was correct.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #38)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:09 AM

45. That's how I see it as well

and I don't like it . OTOH he DID have to defend her because the attacks are shameless.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #37)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:49 AM

41. The attacks on Rice are unfounded and unfair.

And, if Republicans get more answers on Bengazi, they might soften on her. I obviously am not enthrawed with her, but she does not deserve the treatment she has been receiving, and if she is the nominee she should have a fair hearing.

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Response to wisteria (Reply #41)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:14 AM

42. I quite agree, but Republicans can treat people in unfair ways

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Response to beachmom (Reply #35)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:27 PM

39. It was the right thing to do, but I am not sure he will name her.

At least, not from what I see. Obama had to defend Rice, he did not have a choice here. She did nothing wrong. He had to answer to the question, and the answer was: I have not decided, but if I do decide for her, you bastards will not stop me!

I actually think Obama is being set up by McCain and the GOP here. Either he names Rice and gets on losing a confirmation battle, or he names somebody else (after the media have said she was his first choice) and this person is described as second choice and McCain/Graham will say he caved. Rice is not the target. She is a war casualty and I think Obama saw that and this is why he called them out.

What I am concerned is that, by supporting Rice that stridently rather than stating their support for Obama whomever he choses, some people are pushing him in a bad position. People are being stupid here. Support Obama whatever choice he makes. Rice is fine if she is the choice. Anybody else he chooses would be fine as well.

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Response to Mass (Reply #39)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 03:16 AM

43. how realistic is it for him to convince Hillary to stay on ?

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:25 AM

44. I will stop with this topic as I still think Obama is getting setup.

There were two choices possible here: Kerry and Rice. McCain/Graham succeeded in making them both look bad and our side helped by supporting Rice rather than supporting Obama. (I wished that Kerry would get such support when unfairly attacked, but our side is more likely to side with the GOP in this case).

As I said, if he chooses Rice, he will most likely lose his nomination fight. And, from what I can read in this thread, if he chooses Kerry, he will look like caving (not sure why, but most people here are certainly feeling this way).

Frankly, at this point, there are nominations that will be a lot more important, such as Secretary of Treasury. So, I am not sure why the netroots are obliging the GOP. Once again, I trust Obama to make the right choice. I am getting PO by this issue because we accept the media and RW frames so easily.

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Response to Mass (Reply #44)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:07 PM

46. I see a set up also. n/t

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:15 PM

47. Venocchi says, Sen. Kerry should get SOS.

"Senator John Kerry deserves to be the next secretary of state because he is the best person for the job.

The longtime Massachusetts senator who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has the background and experience required for the nation’s top diplomatic post. He has also been a good and loyal soldier for President Obama.

But the president seems to prefer Susan Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, for the secretary of state position. In light of that preference, Kerry’s name has surfaced as a potential nominee for secretary of defense. As a consolation prize, it isn’t shabby. But the State Department is what Kerry should get."

I believe she is the one who through around the suggestion even before Brown lost, that Kerry might not get this post because Brown might win again. I would like to know what game she is playing. She heaps praise on him now.


http://bostonglobe.com/opinion/2012/11/15/john-kerry-should-secretary-state/eO51vkY5ArQp6ng9iBXT4J/story.html

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Response to wisteria (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:27 AM

49. Nice article, but I strongly disagree with her criticism of Susan Rice.

For me this isn't a competition, like I'm going to bash Rice in order to argue for Kerry. I just think Kerry would be better, although Rice would do a good job -- I am very impressed with her work at the U.N. to get everyone united to interfere in Libya. I was against going into Libya, but if it was going to happen, it's best to get everyone on board. And she got that done. Which was a total embarrassment to Marc Rubio who made such a fool of himself that day in the SFRC hearing about Libya. God, the press has been snowed about him. A great leader, he ain't. But I digress ....

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Response to beachmom (Reply #49)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:50 PM

54. It seems the more a Republican is promoted the more of an empty suit he is.

Rpublican don't seem to promote substance in their candidates.

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Response to wisteria (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:38 AM

50. She is right, but her motives are wrong.

This said, expect people from MA to push back at the idea that Kerry cannot be SoS because of Brown. People are getting tired of it. We are where the Democrats go fundraising, but we are not trusted to choose our candidate? There are good reasons for Obama to choose any of those twos, but being afraid of Brown is not one of them. It is getting ridiculous. (and yes, you probably will find a few people in MA that are afraid of Brown, but I suspect many are more wary of another election cycle -- which would make it four times in four years).

Here is Walsh pushing back, for example.

http://www.wbur.org/2012/11/16/massachusetts-democrats-walsh
Mass. Democratic Party Chair: We’re Ready For Next Race

Walsh says Democrats are ready to activate all this again in case of a special election.

“There is an energy and enthusiasm, and honestly, in a very practical way, a structure in place,” Walsh said. “We’re ready to start knocking doors next weekend.”

And Walsh says he would welcome another race against Sen. Brown.

“Democrats are not shaking in our boots that Scott Brown is coming back,” Walsh said. “He’s a guy who really showed nothing on the ground for an organization.”

And so, Walsh says, if the president brings Kerry to his cabinet, Massachusetts Democrats are ready to deal with another race.

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Response to Mass (Reply #50)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:52 PM

55. Thanks for sharing your thoughts from a Mass perspective. n/t

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:22 AM

48. Fred Kaplan thinks if asked Kerry should turn down job at Pentagon

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2012/11/john_kerry_would_be_a_great_secretary_of_state_but_he_isn_t_the_right_choice.html

He says a lot of nice things about Kerry in the article, and also that he would be good at State (although he does think it is pointing to Rice for that position), but not a good fit at Defense. One nice thing in the article I learned is that the top military brass largely don't care about his anti-war activities during the Vietnam War. I found that interesting and heartening.

Don't everyone shoot me, but Kaplan is making sense about how management is not JK's greatest strength. Diplomacy is. So I'm going to call it: State or stay in the Senate.

Also, someone commented somewhere that Teresa had health issues -- it's my understanding that her treatment of the breast cancer was successful. Has anyone heard anything different from that? That surely would be a factor against taking a cabinet position.

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Response to beachmom (Reply #48)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 07:05 AM

60. this seemed to me a good analysis

I am thoroughly sick of the speculation, and the political maneuvering associated with it, but after reading all the Stuff this is how I feel:
1. SOD would be a terrible fit, and whoever had this idea or started this rumor is either dumb, or totally clueless about what Kerry's strengths are and/or what the SOD job entails OR they have dishonorable intentions. It's a really bad idea. If , God forbid, he's offered this position, I really REALLY hope that he turns it down. Reading the Kaplan article and his account of Les Aspin's (horrible and life-shortening) experience there only hardened my opinion further.
2. Sen. Kerry is more qualified to be SOS than anyone I can think of, and he eminently deserves the recognition. I would love to see him get that recognition and to have his voice at State and in the world. But. Although I've long held the idea that Sen. Kerry would have more freedom and scope as chair of SFRC than SOS, I've gradually come to a "wait and see" view, similar to some others on this thread, concluding that if he's offered this position, and he wants it, he should do it. HOWEVER, after reading Kaplan's article and his analysis of the Obama administration's top-down management style, my doubts about what freedom JK would have to define his own job, and worries that he could be treated cavalierly by the administration, increased once again. If Sen. Kerry becomes SOS, I have no doubt that he would do a cracker-jack job. . .IF the administration gives him rein to do things his way. But the Kaplan article implied that even Hillary had no significant input on policy or SOS priorities . . .would the Obama administration give him full support to , say, connecting the global dots between climate change/environmental issues and international issues? I would hope so, but, like I said, I wonder.
By the way, the article did raise in my mind significant worries about Rice's style. Obama was right to defend her, but after reading some of the quotes in the Kaplan article, I really did wonder about her fit for the job. Which makes me think that, were the choice only between Rice and Kerry, that Kerry would be better for the country. The question is: would it better for Sen. Kerry?
Having watched the Coakley train-wreck up close and personal, I also admit to being nervous about setting the MA senate seat in play at short notice. However, if this does happen, hopefully Walsh is right that they won't let a "Coakley" happen again. (Off topic, but the fact that her name has even been mentioned as a possible senate candidate again is just mind-boggling). In any case, Sen. Kerry should do whatever is best for him -- whatever will give him the most scope, whatever will give him the greatest satisfaction -- and not be held back just because of those considerations. God knows he's earned that right, in spades. Plus I trust his judgment.
3. But if he stays in the Senate, as chair of SFRC, and continuing to work on things he's passionate about, like climate change and other environmental problems and much more, he would continue to be very, very effective, especially since finally (decades too late!) he's getting the wide respect and public acknowledgement of his integrity, intelligence, passion, courage, judgment and deep competence that he's long deserved. He also could continue to be a voice for Democrats, which, because it's essentially a non-partisan office, he would NOT be able to do at State (He was absolutely great as a TV spokesman during the campaign: his witty quips were always something to looking forward to ) Although I would love to see Sen. Kerry free of the incestuous, parochial nature of MA (especially Boston) politics (something that SOS would provide for him), I've returned to thinking (especially if Kaplan's analysis is correct about SOS) that he might be in the end be more satisfied as chair of SFRC.

Well, if he has a choice (and he deserves to at least have a choice), I'm sure he'll do what's best and most appropriate, and he'll continue to grace us with his intelligence, integrity and excellence, whatever he decides to do. But I really, really hope that he doesn't do SOD.

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Response to MBS (Reply #60)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:39 PM

72. You know, if he is offered the post and turns it down,

I am just fine with that. I suppose my feeling involve dedication, loyalty and experience. He should be the President's first choice and he should be offered the post to accept or turn down first.

However, the more I have been reading about Rice the less comfortable I feel about her at State. And, now it appears there is a racist tone going around. That is, if you do not support her you are racist. That is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

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Response to MBS (Reply #60)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:01 AM

75. Yeah, what you said

I have the same misgivings about how JK would be treated even as SoS (SoD sounds like a train wreck, and I hope to God he would turn it down) and would hope that instead he can make his mark as chair of SFRC and be happy there. I don't have a good feeling about SoS in the Obama Administration. It may be what JK wants but it gives me a bad vibe, for just the reasons you described.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:18 AM

51. While we're discussing it, don't you think we've had enough Shitpublicans

Last edited Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:05 PM - Edit history (1)

given positions in the Administration? There's a reason they're named Shitpublicans (and it has nothing to do with being a publican).

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Response to rock (Reply #51)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:03 PM

57. I agree, it got President Obama nowhere the last four years

and there are plenty of qualified Democrats he can place in cabinet positions.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:20 AM

52. Sec.Panetta

This from the VOA yesterday

http://www.voanews.com/content/article/1547127.html

Sec.Leon Panetta has no further political ambition and apart from the longing to get back to CA he is not fighting any deadline here to resign.Sec.Clinton on the other hand if she is seriously considering a run for the Presidency in 2016 would resign soon so as to distance herself from the current administration. Also unlike the other cabinet members like Sec.Clinton,Sec.Geithner or Mr.Holder who have served for 4 years,Sec.Panetta was only appointed in July 2011 and has served only for 16 months so far. I only brought this up because if Susan Rice is confirnmed for SoS, then Sen.Kerry will have to wait till the Defense post is vacated which may not be immediately. This might give the Democrats some more time to assess the lay of the land in MA

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Response to Blue Nile (Reply #52)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:59 PM

56. Welcome

Thanks for the link.
I don't like the idea of having to wait years for a promotion you have been suggested for at an earlier time, but it does give everyone more time to settle things in Mass. However, I think Sen. Kerry would have to make a decision now on that iffy positon, because he is up for reelection in 2014 and wll need to begin to organize for reelection.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:52 PM

53. It is heartening to read that Walsh

(Massachusetts Dem Party chair) may be the most successful party chair in the country, and that he's basically saying "bring it on" if Scott Brown decides to run for Kerry's seat when Kerry becomes SOS.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:53 PM

58. I have to say at this point, I feel sorry for Kerry.

How many times can you get humiliated by the media again and again and continue to move on and work? It is probably better than I have never been interested in this, because I can understand McCain's reaction (he is wrong on the fact,but he is only human). I guess I respect Kerry even more at this point.

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Response to Mass (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:39 PM

59. I agree with you.

life isn't fair, but you would think once in a while something you worked so hard for would work out in a positive way.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:17 PM

61. I am angry at President Obama.

I would have voted for him anyway, but I did other things to help him get elected because I thought Senator Kerry was deserving and qualified for the SOS position. I know that Rice was in the mix even then, but I was never that impressed with her, and thought for sure that Senator Kerry's resume made him the hands down choice. And, with the support of Biden it seemed he was in a very strong position. So, to see how things have evolved and the administrations sloppy way of handling this, I am angry and very disappointed. The way Senator Kerry has been treated is just wrong. And, the offer of possible SOD is a joke, with no start date-but perhaps 2 years down the road and Sen. Kerry having to start to greer up for his senate reelection in 2014. I will get over my ange,r and support the President on other issues I am sure, but I will never forget how badly they have treated Senator Kerry.

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Response to wisteria (Reply #61)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:48 PM

62. it sure feels like the situation is being mishandled, that's for sure

From what I know of Susan Rice (admittedly, not very much), I find myself disliking her. And, as the Kaplan article notes, "diplomatic" seems not to be part of her persona at all (again, from what I know). Honestly, I can't imagine why Obama is so keen (at least according to the rumor mill) to have her as SOS, or even why she'd be a serious candidate at all. A white house security advisor, maybe: but not diplomacy

The SOD thing is ridiculous. It's a totally inappropriate choice for Sen. Kerry.

If any of these rumors are even half-true, I think that Sen. Kerry might in fact retain more of his sanity, independence and authority, and could possibly accomplish more of significance, from his Senate seat. . just MHO.

This is random, but, through a series of unexpected and bizarre circumstances, I actually got to see Sen. Kerry at a lunch this past week. He looks very well ( I thought to myself: there is no way this man is 69 years old. I also thought to myself: "see? Integrity is good for your health") . In his informal but public remarks, only a day after the SOD rumor broke in the news, he mentioned the "stuff"only in passing (something roughly like "obviously there's stuff swirling about, but in the meantime I'm continuing to do what I always do, focusing on the people of Massachusetts" (etc). Please don't quote me, or try to parse this too finely, as I didn't take notes, so, at best, I'm giving you only the general gist). His brief remarks focused chiefly on the election, his hopes for the upcoming congress (he thinks the political mood of the country has changed, doesn't think we'll go over the "cliff", he thinks we'll make progress on tax reform, and he is very pleased by the new crop of Dem senators, and that all but one of the senatorial candidates supported by his PAC won reelection) . He reaffirmed his continued commitment to environmental issues and hopes that we'll FINALLYget going the next year on this urgent problem. He also noted that he's planning to give a major speech on climate change soon. If I understood him right, he implied that he's hoping to give the speech this coming week. I don't know whether he meant a speech to the Senate (seems unlikely if it's next week-- wouldn't they be off for holiday?) or somewhere else.
Perhaps he really meant the week after Thanksgiving?? If someone sees an announcement or record of such a talk, please post it here! I would love to know what he says.

Anyway, for whatever my tiny glimpse is worth, it looks like Sen. Kerry is weathering the storm OK. And that's because, I think, he knows who he is, he knows what he can contribute, and he is determined to contribute no matter what title is offered to him, and no matter what he decides to accept. (except, please NOT SOD).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Response to MBS (Reply #62)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:57 PM

63. Thank you, how exciting that you got to see him.

And, I like your observation that he is weathering the storm and continuing to move forward and get things done. It describes his attitude exactly. IMO. And, I have been seeing other commentary on Rice which has not been very flattering and also some of her past comments directed at McCain that might be one reason he is so much against her. But, my opinion of her is not without bias, obviously and I might be making more out of the negative than the positive.

I will continue to be upset over the SOS post, and I think the SOD idea will never get anywhere. He is in a good position in the Senate and maybe able to actually challange some of the President's policy moves overseas, so staying where he is, he actually doesn't lose any influence. If he isn't picked for SOS, it is this administrations and our country's loss.

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Response to MBS (Reply #62)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:38 PM

68. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

thanks for your first hand account - it is great to hear that he as always is taking everything in stride and is purposeful and positive. I agree wholeheartedly with your reasons. He has looked very happy and very comfortable in his own skin in the last month. He was incredible after the third debate. His laughs seemed real and his grin lit up his face. (I also loved that he tweeted the photo of the robot saying that he had seen Romney when he was in Ohio.)

I was impressed with Susan Rice at her confirmation hearing. What I hate in this process is that the media allies of various people who either favor another candidate or who just don't like a nominee generate so much animosity. It does seem that there were prior comments that Rice does have sharp elbows, but that is often the case for ambitious people.

But, I have seen so many negative unfair comments on Kerry made by people for vested interests of their own that I am uneasy reading the negative comments on Rice - who I had always had a positive opinion of.

It does seems that she does not have a lot of strong ties to Congress. Ironically, if Obama gives her the job, it will likely be because he knows that Kerry will as chair of the SFRC sell what needs to be sold to the Senate. He may think with Biden as VP and Kerry where he is, the SOS can minimize contact with Congress. However, there were complaints by Lugar - and I think they were valid - that they often could not get all the witnesses they wanted and had to fight to get information from the state department. In spite of this, I think Lugar had an ok relationship with Clinton. In MHO, I don't think they can allow this to get worse and Rice starts out with many important Republicans at minimum skeptical about interacting with her.

I really wonder if the real concern with taking Kerry is not Brown or that Obama "likes" Rice better or values her more, but he loses a valuable player on MANY issues from the Senate - including infrastructure spending, climate change, and financial issues in addition to foreign policy. Warren's summary was excellent in describing his value in either position.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #68)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:55 PM

69. That could be. n/t

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Response to karynnj (Reply #68)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:49 PM

71. Other reasoning could also be in play.

Perhaps at 69 Senator Kerry may be thought to not be able to keep up with the constant rigors of this post. I recognize how fit he is, but Clinton seems to look so exhausted at times. Rice is a lot younger, it may be thought she could handle the pace of the position better. There may be other reasons as well, the desire to put a minority, or a woman in this position could also be a factor. And, these coupled with her experience could make her more appealing. I am just speculating here, as it is hard to know exactly what attributes or experience the President is considering in his choices.

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Response to wisteria (Reply #61)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:04 PM

65. Listen, I understand your anger and share it, but I am not certain it is

correctly directed.

Right now, my anger is at the media for reporting unsourced rumors. These rumors may be correct, these rumors may be false, I have no clue. Clearly, those people who leaked the fact that Rice was favorite (once again without giving their name) clearly did not want Kerry to be SoS and it was not luck. The San Francisco Chronicle refers to 6 different sources in the current WH and previous WH (whatever that means, probably Obama and Clinton administrations). But it does not make a lot of sense to me if the choice was really done. After Jonathan Karl's question, I do not really see what Obama could have answered other than what he said. He took the time twice to say the choice was not made, but he had to defend Rice and there were reasons to be mad at McCain and Graham. This is absolutely ridiculous.
(I am not saying that Kerry was the favorite, I am saying I am not convinced the choice was made. There was no urgency, particularly if the top two contenders were people well known to the administration).

As far as Rice and her qualifications, be careful. She made no friends with the Clinton camp siding so strongly with Obama in 2007. In addition, there are plenty of people who dislike a woman of power. So, it is had to know what is true or not in the criticism of her diplomatic style.
But this is right: whoever leaked the notion of Kerry at SoD was no Kerry's friend. My immediate reaction was: Why would they want to do that?
I am happy to see MBS's post that he is well. I am sure he will keep busy doing useful things whenever he is, but quite a few media people drove me mad, including Lawrence O' Donnell suggesting that McCain did that so that Scott Brown could get his senate seat back (Well, if this was the reason, McCain is even more loony than he looks. Attacking Rice made this scenario less likely, not more). [BTW, not sure for McCain, but the reason Graham is doing that is to increase his Tea Party creds in advance of 2014: Please, I am one of you, dont primary me!) http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/11/17/1210521/republican-senator-campaigns-on-benghazi-tragedy-ahead-of-2014-election/

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Response to Mass (Reply #65)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:43 PM

66. Thanks for the input.

I agree with you regarding Graham. And, your comments about the media make sense. But, it is so difficult to ignore them. They have been correct on occasion. And, I understand the President's need to defend Rice the Republicans are just absolutely wrong in making Benghazi and Rice a political issue. I suppose the best thing for me is to do is to do as Senator Kerry is doing, just ignore it all and go on with what is important to me. If Senator Kerry is meant to have this post, it will be his, if not, he is surely destined for other great things.

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Response to wisteria (Reply #61)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:57 AM

74. I don't know what's really going on but I'm inclined to agree

Who knows what's actually going on behind the scenes, but from this distance it looks as if JK is being dissed, after all he's done for Obama. Personally, I will be sad if JK becomes SoS because his career will almost certainly be over in 4 years, but if it's what he wants, then I hope he gets it. But in any case he deserves some respect from Obama.

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Response to beachmom (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:20 PM

73. It appears that Kerry as SOD is now the new target.

Not a surprise that they would do this, but I heard some nasty attacks today on 'talk radio", which amounted to Swift Boatering++++. When it was said he wasn't a war hero at all, but a coward and Vietnam Vets accross the country would protest this appointment-I had had enough. It is almost like 2004 all over again. What a shame for Sen. Kerry. I can only hope that he is still in the mix for SOS.

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