As a decorated combat veteran during the Vietnam War, Kerry famously spoke out against the war upon his return. He understands the costs of war better than most. His new role would be to avert war with relationships and words that advance America’s agenda for a peaceful world. Although he doesn’t have the international star power that Clinton has, Kerry would bring a depth of knowledge and experience that would serve the country as it deals with Iran’s nuclear program, China’s changing role in the world, Pakistan’s multiple personalities and the constant challenges of the Mideast.
Kerry should have little trouble getting confirmed by his colleagues in the Senate, where Republicans like Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine have already telegraphed their support. Collins said Kerry would be “an excellent appointment” soon after a disappointing meeting with Rice, who was attempting to repair relations after her Benghazi comments. Obama’s willingness to follow the vocal suggestions of Republican senators to move beyond Rice and make Kerry his nominee demonstrates that he is not looking for partisan battles when they can be avoided.