I remember hearing, as part of the brokered convention talk back when there was any, the name John Kerry occasionally coming up.
I’m not sure if anchors were saying it because they needed to hear themselves saying names who were theoretically big enough to get the nod without providing substantive analysis or they actually believed the former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic standard-bearer was a credible candidate.
Neither was encouraging.
I don’t know what the opposite of the common touch is, but John Kerry has it. Remember that time he tried to go goose hunting during the 2004 campaign? When he asked a grocery store manager, “Can I get me a hunting license here?” as if he had a kind of anti-fluency in commoner-talk?
Kerry wasn’t just hampered in that campaign because he spoke perfect French, he was hampered because that seemed like the most John Kerry-ish fact ever about John Kerry.
In case you forgot about that or there’s still a brokered convention in our future, current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reminded us of it during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, when he contrasted his gustatory habits with that of Kerry.
Pompeo, appearing at the National Harbor, Maryland, event last Friday, noted the amount of time (and assumedly money) Kerry, who would later go on to serve as the Obama administration’s secretary of state, spent on “fancy dinners” as America’s top diplomat.
“You should know that different secretaries kind of roll different,” he said.
“I’m not in it for the fancy dinners in Paris or Switzerland or Vienna,” he said. “One of my predecessors went 62 times.”
“That, my friends, is a lot of cocktails,” Pompeo added.
I actually find Kerry to be more of a oenophile myself, but OK.
“He also went to Antarctica,” the secretary of state continued. “And I don’t know who he was negotiating with there.”
You can can watch the full speech below:
“I’d rather go be with my team in tough places, places that represent hardship to the young men and women who are serving as diplomats all across the world,” he said.
On the other hand, Pompeo said that he’d spent “spent significant and necessary time with evil individuals who have American blood on their hands.”
On that account, he took issue with another Kerry “accomplishment”: the Iran nuclear deal.
“Under previous administrations, our nation signed dangerous agreements that made Americans less safe, like the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord, and bad trade deals. People said these things couldn’t be fixed,” he said.
“Previous administrations were proud of themselves for these agreements. They got to go to the ribbon-cutting and the signing.
“But everyone knows this: The point is changing behavior, not signing documents.”
As Pompeo noted, however, Obama, Kerry and their ilk “are the same people who said for years that we could never achieve exactly what we’ve done.”
“They said — and I’ve read it — they said, well, you can never successfully confront China on trade. We have a phase one trade deal. They said you can never get Mexico to control its border. And there are thousands of Mexican troops helping us stop the crossings. They said you’d never defeat ISIS. And the caliphate is gone. And they said we’d never free Pastor Brunson from his prison in Turkey. And he’s home.
“They said Mexico and Canada will never renegotiate their deal,” he added, to laughter. “They said the North Koreans would never engage in a conversation about their nuclear weapons program. They said they’d never release their hostages and that we couldn’t get the remains of our soldiers home. And we’ve done that.”
And, as he noted, “they said that moving our embassy to Jerusalem would set the Middle East alight. That didn’t happen. And our plan represents the best chance for peace in decades.”
But John Kerry got a lot of fancy dinners out of the way and he negotiated with the penguins in Antarctica. He’ll always have that.
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