Secretary of State Pick John Kerry Talks Tough on Iran and Economy in Senate

Eyes Smooth Sailing After Confirmation Hearing

getty images

By Reuters

Published January 24, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Kerry was greeted with backslaps as he arrived for his hearing and bantered easily with senators, wryly noting his role reversal after spending 29 years sitting up on the dais and questioning witnesses.

“I don’t want this to affect your opening questions, but let me say I have never seen a more distinguished and better-looking group of public officials in my life,” he said, to laughter.

Several senators said they were certain of his confirmation. Menendez said he felt the committee members were satisfied.

One note of discord came when a protester dressed in pink shouted “we need peace with Iran. … I am tired of my friends dying” before being removed by police.

Kerry visited Damascus repeatedly before the outbreak of Syria’s devastating civil war and was a proponent of U.S. re-engagement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Kerry said there was a moment where Assad, impelled partly by his desire to find jobs for his “burgeoning” youthful population, had an interest in improving relations with the United States, but that he missed the opportunity.

“He has made a set of judgments that are inexcusable, that are reprehensible and I think is not long for remaining as the head of state in Syria,” Kerry said.

The Yale-educated son of a foreign service officer, Kerry, 69, has long specialized in foreign affairs. In the 1960s, he differed from some of his well-heeled peers by enlisting in the U.S. Navy and serving two tours of duty in Vietnam.

He broke from - and enraged - the military establishment by becoming a prominent anti-war demonstrator after returning home. Bitter personal attacks over that role helped cost him the presidency in 2004 when he lost to Republican George W. Bush.

Kerry, who first testified before the committee in 1971 to express his opposition to the Vietnam War, choked up when recalling his father’s service as a career diplomat.

“If you confirm me, I would take office as secretary proud that the Senate is in my blood - but equally proud that so, too, is the foreign service,” he said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.