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Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:48 AM

Globe account of John Kerry's day Friday

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2012/12/23/trip-arlington-cemetery-departure-staff-members-bookends-kerry-big-day/a4TdkJEAhp2zIGQPFDtWiK/story.html


On the day he was to be tapped as the country’s next secretary of state, Senator John F. Kerry began with a somber reflection on the costs of his first government assignment overseas. Accompanied by a lone aide, he drove to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and visited the grave of his college classmate Richard Pershing, who died in the Vietnam War. . .Before departing for Arlington National Cemetery, the senator had a phone conversation with his younger daughter, ­Vanessa, and an iPad video look at his 8-month-old grandson, who was in Boston.


Kerry first heard about impending appointment during Inouye's funeral, via text message from David Thorne, who is now (!) ambassador to Italy, who passed on reports from Italian TV. . .he also received more text messages from his staff "urging him to call the office" . (Lest anyone come to the grotesque conclusion that this most civilized and humane of senators has no manners, especially during the funeral of a long-term senator that he cared about, he did not respond to those messages during the funeral : the article emphasized that Kerry was silent during the funeral, and talked to no one at the funeral, not even President Obama, even though the President was sitting only a few rows ahead of him. Instead, after the funeral, "Kerry and his wife raced out of the Cathedral and headed to their home on O Street in Georgetown.")

Kerry put on a baby blue tie he had favored for important occasions since his 2004 presidential campaign. He, his wife, and the staff driver then set out for the White House — only to get stuck in a traffic jam. But they made it to the White House with time to spare. Among those greeting him was Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, who had been director of scheduling for Kerry’s failed 2004 presidential campaign. Awaiting them was National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, as well as a larger group that included the senator’s brother, Cam, who is general counsel at the Commerce Department, and former Kerry staffers.
They included Marvin Nicholson, who had traveled every step of the 2004 campaign as Kerry’s personal aide, and who now works as Obama’s trip director; Heather Zichal, a former Kerry legislative director now overseeing White House environmental policy; and Amy Brundage, formerly Kerry’s Senate communications director and now a deputy White House press secretary. . . .Joining them was Deputy OMB Director Heather Higginbottom, who served as deputy policy director for Kerry’s presidential campaign.

As he was leaving the White House, his phone rang. It was UN Ambassador Susan Rice, whose decision a week earlier to drop out of the running for secretary of state had cleared the path to Kerry’s nomination. The senator later described her call and the warm sentiments she conveyed as “very, very thoughtful.”

From there, it was back to business as usual. Kerry went straight to the Capitol, where he cast the first of five votes. . . Kerry also assembled his staff, becoming emotional as he told them, “I never would have had this day were it not for you: the best staff I’ve ever had, the best staff in the Senate, and the best for Massachusetts.” By the time he left his office, the emotion of the day’s beginning had been replaced by the cold reality of politics: Two of his health care aides already had been hired by Senators Bill Nelson and ­Dianne Feinstein, also Democrats.


12 replies, 2110 views

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 07:52 AM

1. Thnx

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:05 AM

2. Thank you for posting this

I never would have guessed that the timing was set so abruptly. Interesting that he chose to go to his friend's grave that morning. It is amazing how many things like that he does that seem to be an effort to ground himself to what is genuinely real. He might be able to resolve some things diplomatically which could prevent tragedies like all those lost in Vietnam.

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 05:12 PM

3. I just quickly read the international media in English and French and I guess the rest of the world

must want Scott Brown to keep his Senate seat.

From the China Daily to the Saudi and Pakistani news, people welcome his nomination. So do the LGBT news, another well-known supporter of Scott Brown...

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Response to Mass (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 05:36 PM

4. OT, but wanted to mention

that I love the Deval Patrick quote on your signature..
Thanks for that.

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Response to Mass (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:01 PM

5. Did any of the kings and queens speak out for the man they liked to meet with --- Brown?

- Every time I read Democrats repeating Brown's delusional claim of kings, queens and Clinton and Obama frequently calling him, my first thought was that he wanted to be John Kerry. Same with his morphing his approximately 1 week - as a Senator - training in Afghanistan as being a combat veteran.

It is great to hear that the rest of the world is welcoming this nomination. Other than the general respect that Kerry deserves from the LGBT community, I wonder if his efforts for the MA couple who he helped stay together is part of the reason. They have an advocate in the inner circle.

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:33 AM

6. Thanks for posting this.

I just had an opportunity to read it. I surmise it will be tough for him to leave the Senate, and the memories.

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:46 AM

7. Funny Pic of Kerry with Bill Clinton

it looked to me like Clinton was kissing JK's Hand at first. probably because i saw the smaller image first.

http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Teresa+Heinz+Kerry+Obama+Biden+Deliver+Remarks+kw5HfNBpYQgl.jpg

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:46 AM

8. Patriot Ledger/Enterprise editorial

This seems to be the general feeling from MA papers: sorry that you leave, but you'll be a great Secretary.

Posting that in part because somebody was wondering why people in MA were not tweeting their happiness to see Kerry become SoS. It is largely because we feel sorry he leaves, even as we are happy to see him become SoS. I know it is hard to understand for those who live in the Tweeter world. If it is not tweeted and retweeted, it must not be true, but this is the general feeling we see.

http://www.enterprisenews.com/breaking/x1671798553/OUR-OPINION-A-new-job-for-Sen-Kerry

Like many of his constituents, we greet U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s nomination to be the next secretary of state with mixed feelings.
Kerry has served Massachusetts in elective office for 30 years, in the U.S. Senate since 1984. He has steadily grown in knowledge and public respect.

But foreign affairs has always been Kerry’s passion. He first came to national attention soon after returning from a tour of duty in Vietnam when he became one of the most articulate young critics of that war. In 1971, he gave riveting testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a committee he has chaired since 2009. He has been near the center of every foreign policy debate of the last three decades.
Kerry is more than qualified to serve as secretary of state, and it’s no secret that he has long coveted the position. We appreciate having had him as our senator. We congratulate him on his appointment.
Yet we do so with reservation. America’s gain is Massachusetts’ loss. If Kerry is confirmed, and all indications are that he will be, Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren will become our state’s senior senator mere weeks after taking office. And depending on the newly-elected senator, Massachusetts may have two rookie legislators representing it in a time of fiscal uncertainty.
Our citizens will lose a strong advocate in the Senate, someone who could and would cut through the federal bureaucracy on behalf of his constituents and our elected officials. During budget negotiations, Kerry and his staff knew how to deliver to the state, in spite of that body’s discouragement of budgetary earmarks. On Capitol Hill, clout matters.
This isn’t to say that Warren isn’t up to the job. She’s more than proven her willingness to be an advocate for the people she represents, but she and the next senator-elect won’t have the power Kerry earned over 28 years in office.
Kerry’s expected confirmation also means the return of the contentious campaign season – a mere six weeks after it ended. Gird your loins, Massachusetts.
While our loss is America’s – and the world’s – gain, we can’t help but wish Kerry well. Safe travels, John Kerry.


Read more: http://www.patriotledger.com/opinions/editorials/x1671798553/OUR-OPINION-A-new-job-for-Sen-Kerry#ixzz2GS6KjDaW

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Response to Mass (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:14 AM

9. very nice editorial. Thanks!

Given the grief he's gotten over the years about his constituent services, I particularly appreciated the statement: "Our citizens will lost a strong advocate in the Senate, someone who could and would cut through the federal bureaucracy on behalf of his constituents and our elected officials. During budget negotiations, Kerry and his staff knew how to deliver to the state". .

A Talking Head said about 5 years ago that "John Kerry is the most underrated politician in America". I wish I could remember who it was, but,anyway, he's right.

And I liked the last paragraph, too. Congratulations, Sen. Kerry. I'm glad that you will be representing us to the world. And I also wish you safe and rewarding travels in your new, richly deserved post.

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Response to Mass (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:50 AM

10. Conroy: There is no better statesman than John Kerry Read more: Conroy: There is no better statesm

Conroy was for a while candidate to Brown's senate seat in 2011, until he dropped out to let Liz Warren run. I find some of these praises to be somewhat post-mortem.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/sudbury/topstories/x1783188450/Conroy-There-is-no-better-statesman-than-John-Kerry

Senator John Kerry, one of our best and brightest public servants, is about to take on a global leadership role as U.S. Secretary of State. Although often overshadowed during his 27 years in the Senate, he is one of finest representatives that the people of Massachusetts have sent to Washington.

I have five lasting memories of Senator John Kerry, and I recall them as way of recognizing his many laudable characteristics while he is on the verge of becoming our nation’s lead diplomat.

First, I recall in early 1987 walking the halls of the U.S. Senate as a legislative assistant for foreign policy and national security, and passing by and looking up to John Kerry — then a freshman and junior senator to the iconic Ted Kennedy. I admired Senator Kerry for his interest in foreign policy, choosing to be a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, at the expense, perhaps, of a more powerful post on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, where my boss, Senator Barbara Mikulski, chose to serve. It was difficult as a rank-and-file member on Foreign Relations to have much of a voice, but Senator Kerry’s patience and long-term view is a rare characteristic in politics. Clearly, it’s paying dividends now as he is about to become President Obama’s chief foreign policy partner.

...
Second, on October 30, 1996 John Kerry and then very popular Governor Bill Weld were locked in battle, with Kerry fighting for re-election. The election was just a couple of days away. That morning, Sarah gave birth naturally to our first and second daughters, Madeleine and Cashen, six minutes apart at Brigham & Womens’ in Boston, but our third daughter, Emma, was not as forthcoming, remaining in utero. While “waiting” four hours for Emma to emerge, Sarah, on her back on the operating table, convinced two nurses, who seemed inclined to support Weld, that John Kerry was the better candidate because he voted on principle and on behalf of the vulnerable. Emma was born about an hour later. Kerry, of course, won.
...
Politics is unpredictable. We step forward, sidle sideways, fall back, then lurch forward again. John Kerry waited 25 years to become the senior senator from Massachusetts, constantly overshadowed by his partner, waiting to mentor a young, promising, Democratic colleague. He did not get to mentor the junior senator from Massachusetts, but did develop a relationship with the junior senator from Illinois, who soon became president. Together, they will be partners on the global stage, facing bigger, broader, and more intractable challenges: war, terrorists, rogue states, dictators, non-state belligerents, recalcitrant prime ministers, stubborn presidents, and other, perhaps unforeseen problems. There is no better statesman than John Kerry for such a task.

Read more: Conroy: There is no better statesman than John Kerry - Sudbury, MA - The Sudbury Town Crier http://www.wickedlocal.com/sudbury/topstories/x1783188450/Conroy-There-is-no-better-statesman-than-John-Kerry#ixzz2GSN3yXnI

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Response to Mass (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:54 PM

11. How nice. And, Sen. Kerry will still be serving us all, just in a different way.

And, in a way, this is a new beginning for Mass. But, it is hard to be happy about someone you all could rely on for so many years, now leaving. PA faced similar challanges when our longest serving Senator, Sen. Specter was defeated a couple of years ago. I know he was a Republican for years,but he started out serving PA as a Democrat many years ago, so for those who remembered him from Philadephia, we always thought of him as a conservative Democrat and he died a Democrat. He was a moderate voice, and he was excellent at helping the people of PA. After he lost, and Tomey won, Senator Casey became our senior senator. Casey is fairly new to the Senate himself, so we are being served by two newer senators also.

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Response to Mass (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:30 PM

12. Ok.

That was me that said that. Sorry.

Makes sense. Take care, happy new year!

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