Share This Page

Obama's picks: Double trouble

| 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?

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.