Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is “running an unofficial campaign to become the next secretary of state,” according to the Boston Globe.
His recent opinion piece in the New York Times said what President Obama couldn’t or wouldn’t: Mubarak must go.
Kerry’s conclusion was elegant, but unequivocal: “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.’’
Secretary of state is the spot Kerry wanted when Barack Obama won the presidency. He lost out to Hillary Clinton and Obama’s “team of rivals.’’ But his fallback position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee provides a powerful platform to press his case.
For months, there has been speculation that Kerry will get the job he wants in an Obama second term. Clinton said publicly that she is not committed to the position beyond 2012. She also tamped down speculation that she wants to move to the Pentagon as secretary of defense.
Update: Guess not.
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.