March 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When John F. Kerry's political foes complained in 2004 that he "looked French" and ordered Swiss cheese on his Philadelphia cheese steaks, the Democratic presidential nominee began keeping his affinities for Europe bien caché - well hidden. But now that he is America's chief diplomat, snail eating comes with the job and Kerry's Europhilia is back with a vengeance. In his first trip to Europe as secretary of State, Kerry this week spoke in French, German and Italian, warmed to discussions of European cuisines and lifestyles, and recited a Thomas Jefferson epigram in French.
February 26, 2013 |
LONDON - Syrian opposition members have reportedly reversed their decision to boycott a meeting in Rome on Thursday with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and other world leaders, averting a potential embarrassment for Kerry on his first overseas trip as top U.S. diplomat. Separately, Syria's foreign minister said in Moscow on Monday that the government was prepared to talk with the opposition, including armed rebels. The twin developments came as Kerry arrived in London on the first leg of a nine-nation tour.
February 25, 2013 |
LONDON -- John Kerry used the first stop on his first foreign tour as secretary of state to urge Syrian opposition parties to join a proposed meeting this week in Rome that will seek solutions to that country's protracted civil war. Joined by his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary William Hague, Kerry stressed the urgency of working with Britain and the U.N. toward peace in Syria and the broader Middle East. Referring to the meeting later this week of the Friends of Syria, a group of countries seeking a resolution to the Syrian crisis, Kerry said: “I want our friends in the Syrian opposition council to know we are not coming to Rome simply to talk.
February 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - John Kerry opened his diplomatic mission to Syria in 2009 with a decidedly undiplomatic question for President Bashar Assad: Why did so few Arab leaders trust Assad? One month into President Obama's first term, the then-chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was in Damascus to explore the possibility of Syrian-Israeli peace talks. But minutes into their meeting, Kerry pressed the Syrian autocrat to explain why other Middle Eastern rulers said Assad always "says one thing and does another ... or he says he will do something then doesn't do it. " Assad, clearly startled by the question, demanded examples.
February 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- John F. Kerry arrived at State Department headquarters Monday morning to begin his new role as secretary of State, telling employees that he wanted to answer the question: “Can a man actually run the State Department?” The former Massachusetts senator, who was preceded in the post by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, acknowledged that “I have big high heels to fill.” Kerry addressed the troops from the staircase rising from the headquarters lobby, the exact spot where Clinton gave good-bye remarks to a rapturous foreign service crowd last Friday.
February 2, 2013
Re "Kerry easily wins Senate vote for secretary of State," Jan. 30 Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) claims Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is "anti-military" and is therefore unfit to serve as secretary of State. In so doing, Cruz, who never served in uniform, joins a not-very-exclusive group known as the "chicken hawks. " These are folks whose enthusiasm for war and all things military does not extend to their own service. Some members who may be familiar to Cruz are Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
January 29, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to confirm Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) as the next secretary of State, filling a crucial national security spot in President Obama's second-term Cabinet. The 94-3 vote clears the way for Kerry to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton after she steps down Friday. Kerry, who will become America's 68th top diplomat, failed to win only three Republican votes - those of Sens. John Cornyn and Rafael “Ted” Cruz, both of Texas, and Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma. A spokesman for Cornyn said Kerry supported liberal positions that most Texans oppose.
January 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry pledged Thursday that as secretary of State he would de-emphasize the military role "thrust upon us" by Sept. 11, saying "we cannot afford a diplomacy that is defined by troops or drones or confrontation. " Appearing at his confirmation hearing before longtime colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Massachusetts Democrat said it was time to spotlight America's international efforts to promote human rights, fight disease and lift the world's poor.
December 24, 2012 |
Secretary of State nominee John Kerry, with 20 years of concern about climate change, is expected to push the issue to center stage as a slow-motion crisis in need of a global solution. When he sought to defeat President George W. Bush in 2004, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts made a point of challenging the Bush administration's backtracking on the issue and rejection of climate science. In contrast, he told the nation, he “believes in science.” Kerry has been pushing for action on global warming since he attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
December 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama nominated John F. Kerry, the five-term Democratic senator from Massachusetts, to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of State, but delayed naming a new Defense chief amid growing criticism of the expected nominee for that post. Appearing with Kerry at the White House, Obama said Friday that the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had "played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years.