Don’t Be Surprised if Kerry Sealed a Cabinet Post With Karzai Deal

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

That was quite an image, seeing Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai announce that he’ll accept a runoff election. Well, not just that, but seeing him flanked by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who stopped in Kabul during a trip to Pakistan to discuss his reviled aid bill. Kerry, it’s now being widely reported, was instrumental in closing the deal with Karzai, with Ambassador Karl Eikenberry turning to Kerry on Friday in Kabul to enlist his aid. The Wall Street Journal:

That night, Sen. Kerry went to the presidential palace, where the two men, sometimes accompanied by Mr. Eikenberry and sometimes alone, hashed out Mr. Karzai’s concerns. “We had lot of hours together and talked about a lot of things, including the American experience in elections, and going back to 1864, Al Gore in 2000,” Sen. Kerry said. “I think it helped to put it into a certain framework.”

Within days, Karzai agreed to the runoff, and Kerry was next to him in front of a bank of cameras, calling Karzai a statesman. This is a very big deal: with Kerry’s intervention, Karzai avoided a situation that might have meant a drastic revision of Obama’s Afghanistan plans, and not in any positive direction.

After reading all of this stuff last night, I tweeted a prediction that Kerry may have just clinched a gig as Secretary of State when Hillary Rodham Clinton decides to move on. Kerry lobbied hard for the job last year after vigorously supporting Obama on the campaign trail, and was just barely passed over for Obama’s former presidential rival. On the eve of the election — in fact, on the day-of – it was my understanding he’d get the position.

But he remains a close confidante of the president, particularly on foreign affairs. Kerry will meet with Obama privately today at the White House to discuss Afghanistan. Chances are they won’t talk about any future emissary role, but it might be hovering in the background.

Follow Spencer Ackerman on Twitter


Comments

8 Comments

Tweets that mention Don’t Be Surprised if Kerry Sealed a Cabinet Post With Karzai Deal « The Washington Independent -- Topsy.com
Pingback posted October 21, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by WashIndependent and TMC Member Feed, Express Newsdesk. Express Newsdesk said: Yesterday was a big day for Hamid Karzai, but it might have been an even bigger one for John Kerry. http://bit.ly/2euGNi [...]


Eric_Jaffa
Comment posted October 21, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

How do you know that “Kerry lobbied hard for the job last year”?

Maybe he'd rather be a Senator than Secretary of State.


jlapidus
Comment posted October 21, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

Prediction:
If Sec'y Gates moves on, Hillary will succeed him at DoD. She was widely respected by the military when she was senator.

As for Kerry's desire to be sec'y of state: it was widely reported at the time.


jlapidus
Comment posted October 21, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

Prediction:
If Sec'y Gates moves on, Hillary will succeed him at DoD. She was widely respected by the military when she was senator.

As for Kerry's desire to be sec'y of state: it was widely reported at the time.


jlapidus
Comment posted October 21, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

Prediction:
If Sec'y Gates moves on, Hillary will succeed him at DoD. She was widely respected by the military when she was senator.

As for Kerry's desire to be sec'y of state: it was widely reported at the time.


jlapidus
Comment posted October 21, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

Prediction:
If Sec'y Gates moves on, Hillary will succeed him at DoD. She was widely respected by the military when she was senator.

As for Kerry's desire to be sec'y of state: it was widely reported at the time.


uberVU - social comments
Trackback posted October 22, 2009 @ 11:03 am

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by profsteed: RT: @TWI_news: Don’t Be Surprised if Kerry Sealed a Cabinet Post With Karzai Deal http://bit.ly/jKiO4...


Kerry Backs Counterinsurgency Strategy in Afghanistan « Yuvablog
Pingback posted October 27, 2009 @ 1:48 am

[...] from a trip last week to Afghanistan, where he scored a diplomatic coup by securing Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s acquiescence to a runoff election, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) urged President Obama to endorse a counterinsurgency campaign targeted [...]


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