Obama didn’t get his first choice for the Secretary of State job because of all the lying about Benghazi that Susan Rice did on his orders, but his second choice seemed relatively safe.
John Kerry was supposed to be another Hillary Clinton, another legacy liberal senator past his sell-by date, who would go to international meetings and pose for photos, but would have very little influence or power.
Hillary Clinton took that arrangement to position herself for a White House run while staying close to the center of power. She did next to nothing while in office, with her subordinates claiming that she was blocked at all turns by the White House. That’s probably true since foreign policy these days is run by the CAP boys around Obama.
But John Kerry may have no further presidential ambitions. Even if he does, he doesn’t think that the path to them is to be a team player and shut up until the campaign begins.
Kerry was a loose cannon in the Reagan years. He calmed down somewhat since, but he’s always marched to the beat of his own left-wing drummer. And now he may be becoming as much of a problem for Obama as he was for Reagan.
The clashes over Egypt and Syria show that Kerry is going to go his own way. He may have very little real power, but other countries assume that the Secretary of State represents the United States.
There’s not much to stop Kerry from saying what he wants except being removed from his post. And such a process would be as damaging to Obama as it would be to Kerry.
Hillary Clinton kept her mouth shut and didn’t dissent much from the administration’s line. Kerry has. The question is what can Obama do about it. With the ObamaCare woes, Obama probably isn’t all that interested in stepping into a fight between his people and Kerry on foreign policy. But Valerie Jarrett will probably get her way. Either Kerry will settle down or a campaign of “leaks” targeting him will begin.
You’ll know it’s underway when outlets like FP, the New York Times and WaPo are suddenly running stories about a State Department out of control, Kerry’ spending habits and that sort of thing. For the moment though, it doesn’t seem to be happening. Perhaps even Jarrett knows when to pick her fights and when not to.