The requisites for a U.S. secretary of state, along with intelligence and judgment, are a knowledge of foreign policy, an understanding of domestic politics, and, ideally, first-hand experience of what President Dwight D. Eisenhower called the “brutality and stupidity” of war.
John Kerry, who was tapped by President Barack Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton, checks off all those boxes. He has been an engaged diplomat, a successful politician with gravitas and a decorated combat veteran.
Vietnam.Clinton, though unlike most modern-day secretaries of state, he understands how U.S. politics affects foreign policy on issues from the Middle East to China. Massachusetts Democrat has won six statewide races. He knows how Washington works.
“Senator Kerry was the most prominent choice of most people on both sides of the political aisle,” says Senator Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican who has worked with his Democratic colleague for years.
As the Democratic nominee in 2004, Kerry lost a close race to President George W. Bush. That experience is central to the Kerry of today
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