Kerry Admits He Wanted Hillary’s State Job

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 4, 2009 1:20pm

ABC News’ Jennifer Parker Reports: In a candid interview this week, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., admitted he had wanted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s job.

Kerry was reportedly on the president’s short list for the position last year. At the time he denied he was angling for the job.

“I have no job I'm looking for in the Cabinet at this point in time … there's very little I would leave the U.S. Senate for," Kerry told WCVB-TV last year.

But when asked by Charlie Rose in an interview that aired last night whether he had wanted the top diplomatic position, Kerry admitted, “I think you would be a liar if you sat here and played a game and said gee, Charlie, no.”

Kerry told Rose, “I think it is a great position. But I’m follow — I didn’t sit around and worry about it.”
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sang the praises of Clinton, who the president wooed for the spot despite their bruising Democratic primary battle. 

“I’m engaged, working very, very closely with Hillary and I admire her enormously. She is very capable. She’s doing a terrific job,” Kerry said, “The president, you know, has paid me the respect of listening, and of giving me a chance to weigh in on things, and so I’m feeling very comfortable and engaged.”

The former Democratic presidential candidate also said he was angry with himself after his failed 2004 presidential bid.

“I think I was angrier than I was,” Kerry said told Rose. 

“At yourself?” Rose asked.

“A little bit because I think there are things we could have done that would have made a difference and I kick myself for some of the mistakes that were made,” Kerry said.

Kerry pointed to the “lies that were spread about my service” by the Swift Boat campaign, and suggested his campaign made tactical errors in Ohio.

“When you look at a 5,000 vote margin in one state, Ohio, we just, you know, I should have done a few other things with respect to Ohio and, but, you know, you can’t go back,” Kerry said.

Kerry said he has made peace with his senior role in the U.S. Senate.

“What I have decided is that I love the job I’m doing now. It is an extraordinary job. And I have spent enough years there that I have some seniority and several major committees from which to be able to do the nation’s work and its great work, I love it.”

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