John Kerry: Not Interested in Being Secretary of State

Feb 4, 2011 5:32pm

ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: Senator John Kerry (D-MA) wants to make one thing perfectly clear:  He has no interest in being Secretary of State. Of course, there is no opening.  Hillary Clinton is now Secretary of State and shows no sign of leaving any time soon.  But Senator Kerry, who now serves as Congress’s ambassador to the world in his role as chairman of the Senator Foreign Relations Committee has frequently faced speculation he secretly covets Hillary Clinton’s job. The most recent example:   A story in the Boston Globe, Kerry’s hometown newspaper, that reports Kerry “is running an unofficial campaign to become the next Secretary of State.” The Globe story said Kerry is using his perch as Foreign Relations chairman to “audition” for Secretary of State.   Case in point, according to the Globe:  A New York times op-ed Kerry wrote earlier this week in which he argued that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “must accept that the stability of his country hinges on his willingness to step aside gracefully to make way for a new political structure.” That op-ed, the Globe said, evidenced Kerry’s ability to “stake out personal turf… and showcase the combination of diplomacy and boldness that catches the world’s and the president’s attention.” “With Egypt as the backdrop,” the story said, “Kerry knows the truth of an often-cited maxim that is associated with Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Out of crisis, comes opportunity.” ABC News called Senator Kerry’s office to ask if he is, in fact, running an “unofficial campaign” to become the next Secretary of State.  The answer:  a firm NO that came in the form of a 148-word statement Kerry spokesman Jodi Seth. “I don't know what else we can do to stop the parlor game speculation about who's coming and who's going,” the statement began.  “Lord knows we've knocked it down a thousand times over, and at a time of such challenge for American foreign policy the punditry is especially unwelcome and unhelpful.” And there’s more. “The one thing that hasn't changed one iota is that John Kerry loves his job as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and as the senior senator from Massachusetts,” the statement continued. “He worked a long time to get this job, and doing your job so well doesn't mean you're auditioning for another job.” And, still more: “So one last time: the only job John Kerry is contemplating, or considering, is the one job he already has, and he isn't looking elsewhere. Sometimes in politics, no really means no, and sometimes the best place to be really is the place you already are, end of story." Got that?  John Kerry is not auditioning to be Secretary of State.  He is not lobbying for the job.  He does not secretly covet the job.  He is perfectly happy right where he is. 

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