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Obama's picks: Double trouble

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Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, 9:15 p.m.
 

As goes Susan Rice, so goes Chuck Hagel? And hold your applause for John Kerry.

• Mr. Hagel, the former Republican U.S. senator of Nebraska, had been considered as President Obama's likely nominee to replace departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Until some rather pronounced blemishes resurfaced.

From his hardly ally-friendly stance toward Israel, to his perceived coddling of Iran, to past intemperate remarks about gays (for which he apologized only Friday last), his confirmation fortunes have faded. The administration now is talking of other nominees. Next!

• Then there's Mr. Kerry. The Democrat senator of Massachusetts was tapped by Mr. Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of State after the Susan Rice implosion. Republicans have signaled that Kerry should easily win confirmation. But a review of Kerry's foreign policy acumen is far from flattering, especially in Latin and South America, as The Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastasia O'Grady reminds.

“Mr. Kerry's record of promoting American values abroad is dismal.” And “he has a habit of intervening on behalf of the bad guys,” from the Marxist maven Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, to civilian-slaughtering Colombian guerrillas, to the power-grabbing Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya.

Why again is Kerry's confirmation supposed to be a slam-dunk?

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