Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

posted at 2:01 pm on April 21, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Truth Revolt, it’s David Ignatius who raises the question in the clip but you may find big-name Republicans pushing this point in 2016. I’ve wondered about this myself and go back and forth on it: Would it be better or worse for the GOP if Kerry banks some sort of major diplomatic accomplishment over the next three years? I don’t mean the peace process; nothing’s going to happen with that. But what if, say, UN inspectors verify that Assad has indeed disgorged his chemical weapons per the U.S./Russia disarmament deal? What if, for whatever reason, Putin decides that things have gone far enough in Ukraine and resolves to play (relatively) nice going forward? What if, miracle of miracles, Iran really does freeze its nuclear program in return for sanctions being lifted? Those would all be big deals foreign-policy-wise, in increasing order of bigness. If one or more of them happens before 2016, where does that leave the Democratic nominee-in-waiting?

Republicans will argue, a la Ignatius, that Kerry’s success is smoking-gun proof of Hillary’s failure, that he managed to achieve things that she couldn’t. That slides perfectly into the growing realization that, for all the hype, Hillary has nothing to show from her 20 years of Senate and near-presidential service. She did lots of shuttle diplomacy as Secretary of State but never seemed to be in the thick of big-ticket international confrontations like Kerry has on Syria, Iran, Russia, and Israel and the Palestinians. The one arguable exception is Libya and that ended up producing her biggest foreign-policy liability in Benghazi. Contrasting her record with Kerry’s is potentially an effective way, I think, to get lower-information voters to see that the emperor has no clothes. In the abstract, they might not give much thought to the “she has no accomplishments!” claims simply because people tend to conflate fame with achievement and she has, after all, been famous for a very long time. Set up a direct comparison with Kerry, though, and it’s harder to ignore the point. Why aren’t Democrats clamoring to nominate him (again) instead of her? Hard to say.

Three potential problems with this approach, though. One: In order to indict Hillary, Republicans will have to celebrate Kerry’s achievements to some degree. How likely is that? If they spend six months tearing him and O to shreds for naivete in negotiating a nuclear freeze with Iran, how do they then turn around and salute him for having accomplished something Hillary never did? Two: Kerry himself will doubtless be a loyal soldier for Hillary, crediting her with having “laid the groundwork” or whatever for his achievements at State. (President Hillary might even keep him on as SoS in gratitude.) If you’ve got Republicans running around praising Kerry and then Kerry turns around and says he owes it all to Hillary, that’s an … unhelpful message for the GOP. Three: Hillary’s not going to be running on her record as Secretary of State, she’s going to be running on her experience, both direct and vicarious from having served at the highest levels in two Democratic administrations. She may have nothing to show for her service but she knows how things work; she won’t be caught by surprise as commander-in-chief and she won’t stumble around in trying to get legislation passed like Obama has. She’s running as the first woman president and for a third Clinton/Obama term. Her achievements are beside the point. If the public buys that narrative frame, then why would the GOP’s arguments about how much better Kerry is as a diplomat matter? But then, if the public buys that frame, no argument from Republicans will matter much.


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He’s a better windsurfer…

PatriotRider on April 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM

i wonder if Waffles brings a typewriter and a 8mm video with him on trips.

Sven on April 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

He’s better at evading taxes…maybe…

PatriotRider on April 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Praise Kerry and then he can use it to catapult to another nomination for President, or at least he would be considered above Hillary hopefully.

Any talk about Kerry running for Pres in 2016?

airupthere on April 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM

He has a more prominent chin…

PatriotRider on April 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I dunno. Is a hernia better than a hamstring?

Blaise on April 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM

They are both antiAmerican asswipes…

OmahaConservative on April 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM

What’s with the long face…?

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Non

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Is Killary the better looking man?

workingclass artist on April 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Maybe slightly less horrendous

ConservativePartyNow on April 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Name one foreign policy success by obama/Hillary/Kerry.

Messina vs. Axelrod is a delicious story, of course, but it is also telling that the Tories, for so long closely identified with the Republican Party, now look to Democrats, not Republicans, for advice. It was an open secret in London that many Tories wanted Obama to win in 2008 and 2012. The right wing of the modern Democratic Party has as much, and perhaps more, in common with Cameron’s brand of Conservatism as does the current GOP. The Republican brand remains toxic overseas.

Fruck all the RINO/DIABLOs, in the USA and in Europe.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Quit paying for this Marxist. He’s rich enough.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Right now, the bar is set so low for both of them that this is hardly worth anyone’s time to contemplate.

Deano1952 on April 21, 2014 at 2:11 PM

You say ta may toe I say ta mah toe.

Better question: Is diarrhea better than constipation?

platypus on April 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Well, if you want to count doing SOMETHING as better, then he’s head and shoulders over her.

For the life of me, the only thing I remember Clinton doing as SecState was holding that dopey red button with a stupid grin on her face. Other than that, she traveled to gazillions of countries and…

Am I far off?

NavyMustang on April 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Can we have a third choice?

Electrongod on April 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Clinton and Kerry are fighting it out for #1 worst SecState EVAH. It’s a VERY close race.

Meople on April 21, 2014 at 2:16 PM

No Ambassadors dead under his watch, nor those who were protecting said Ambassadors.

But Hillary had a few years to work up to that.

Now Kerry has the chance to start another World War’s open and active phase! Seems that is what the set-up is right now… ask me in a hundred years, wouldya?

ajacksonian on April 21, 2014 at 2:17 PM

The soft bigotry of low expectations, or

Damning with faint praise.

Upstreamer on April 21, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

I dunno. How many miles has he flown.

Fallon on April 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I dunno, AP. That’s like asking who was better for their country, Neville Chamberlain or the Vichy French?

kingsjester on April 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Why haven’t these people been shamed and held accountable for their actions that cost American lives…?

… From Vietnam to Benghazi, there is a trail of blood that ties directly back to them, their Party, and their ideology.

Why are we tortured with the images of their smug faces, the elite ruling class, the ‘above the law’ crowd…?

… They should be purged from the public square, and forced to spend the rest of their evil lives begging forgiveness for their sins!

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

That’s a real Sophie’s choice. Like choosing Hitler, Stalin, or Mao as your favorite dictator.

Kerry and Killary are essentially the same kind of SecState (or Secretary of States as the rat-eared wonder referred to Killary).
A political appointee and face for the West Wing which is really running foreign policy.

Put another way, why is John Kerry AWOL and/or trying to give Iran nukes while Joe Biden is headed to Kyiv?

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Trolling your audience AP? Is this Jazz secretly writing under your name? Or a piece originally intended for Slate that somehow snuck it’s way onto HotAir?

MTF on April 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Via Truth Revolt, it’s David Ignatius who raises the question in the clip but you may find big-name Republicans pushing this point in 2016. I’ve wondered about this myself and go back and forth on it: Would it be better or worse for the GOP if Kerry banks some sort of major diplomatic accomplishment over the next three years? I don’t mean the peace process; nothing’s going to happen with that. But what if, say, UN inspectors verify that Assad has indeed disgorged his chemical weapons per the U.S./Russia disarmament deal? What if, for whatever reason, Putin decides that things have gone far enough in Ukraine and resolves to play (relatively) nice going forward? What if, miracle of miracles, Iran really does freeze its nuclear program in return for sanctions being lifted? Those would all be big deals foreign-policy-wise, in increasing order of bigness. If one or more of them happens before 2016, where does that leave the Democratic nominee-in-waiting?

I’ll take Questions We’ll Never Have to Answer for $1000, Alex.

As for the question asked by the headline, uhhh, could he really be worse? I wouldn’t think so, but this is the haughty, French-looking Democrat who by the way served in Vietnam and was sent into Cambodia by President Nixon before he was even inaugurated, and has the hat to this day.

So no matter how low you set the bar, it’s entirely possible he still won’t clear it.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM

He’s a better windsurfer…

PatriotRider on April 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM

You sure about that? With all that arm flab, Killary would have a pretty effective set of auxillary sails to help direct the the wind.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 2:23 PM

She’s running as the first woman president and for a third Clinton/Obama term.

I think you meant fifth term.

Speaking of Killary and fifths

steebo77 on April 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

What tastes better? Shiite or rancid swamp water?

NotCoach on April 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

They both are fond of pant suits.

hillsoftx on April 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

A warm can of Pabst Blue Ribbon would be a better Secretary of State than Hillary.

rbj on April 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Anyone asking this question is a foot soldier in the War against Women. Has any other SecState been treated in this fashion? For shame.
(You CAN legitimately question whether J.Kerry deserves a “!” after his last name, however.)

Scumby on April 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Was Idi Amin a better dictator than Robert Mugabe? Did Stalin kill more people than Mao? Is Kim Jong Un more murderous than his father and grandfather? Comparison between. Kerry and Hillary is ludicrous. They both are incompetent

simkeith on April 21, 2014 at 2:29 PM

This entire premise is absurd.

Both John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) and Hillary Clinton (who sustained sniper fire in Sarajevo) have oodles of foreign experience.

They are both equally accomplished SOSes.

Both would make excellent POTUSes.

steebo77 on April 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

DAT60A3 on April 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

What smells better?
Dog poop.
Cat poop.

jukin3 on April 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Why aren’t Democrats clamoring to nominate him (again) instead of her? Hard to say.

Kerry doesn’t have the right kind of t*ts.

BL@KBIRD on April 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

They both are incompetent

simkeith on April 21, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I think you’ve got a typo. They are both E-V-I-L.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I also should add, did Imelda Marcos have more shoes than Kim Kardashian? I could go on all day but I made my point.

simkeith on April 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Isn’t that sort of like saying being a moron is worse than a fool? Either way, we lose.

USNCVN on April 21, 2014 at 2:32 PM

In answer to the question, it’s too early to say, but Kerry certainly hasn’t been any worse thus far.

If Kerry were to run against Hildebeest in the primaries, I would definintely root for him. Never thought I’d say that. But the thought of looking at that fat, bulbous, stupid, bug-eyed, buck-toothed, booze-ravaged, pale old face of Hildebeest for eight years running is more than my stomach can take.

MisterElephant on April 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Why aren’t Democrats clamoring to nominate him (again) instead of her? Hard to say.

Nothing would give me greater pleasure than another Dem convention where Kerry arrives at the venue via water in a SWIFT boat and “reports for duty.”

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

Are leeches better than ticks?

landlines on April 21, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Is Je$$e Jack$on a better hustler than Al $harpton?

Is Billy Clintoon a better pervert than David Letterman?

Is Janet Reno’s body count better than Killary’s?

viking01 on April 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?
Is CRAP better than EXCREMENT ?

TeaPartyNation on April 21, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Amb Stevens: “Yes”

faraway on April 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Republicans don’t need to make Kerry look good to make Hillary look bad. Once Hillary’s campaign gets started, Republicans can bring out Hillary’s “reset” button and compare with headlines of Putin running roughshod over Ukraine, and the disaster in Benghazi with the “what difference does it make?” quote.

In addition, if Republicans can use the Obamacare fiasco to win back the Senate this year, they can then use Hillary’s support of socialized medicine back in 1993 against her as well.

Even if Obama suddenly reverses course and gets tough against Putin, Hillary has nothing to do with it, Republicans can attack HER for being the agent of foreign-policy weakness during the first Obama term.

Steve Z on April 21, 2014 at 2:43 PM

hes got more facetime then her, so thats a good look for him…..

dmacleo on April 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Does Lurch have kankles?

Wade on April 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Kerry better than Clinton? Faintest praise possible.

kozmocostello on April 21, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Would we have ever known who Hillary was if she wasn’t Bill’s wife?

Tater Salad on April 21, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Is Janet Reno’s body count better than Killary’s?

viking01 on April 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Apples and oranges.

Is Janet Reno’s body count better than Eric Holders? And does incinerated American children count more than gunned down Mexican children?

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Would we have ever known who Hillary was if she wasn’t Bill’s wife?

Tater Salad on April 21, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Only by her orange jumpsuit, frumpy countenance and repeat “guest” appearances on COPS…

viking01 on April 21, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Alternate Headline:

Is cyanide a better poison than arsenic?

tominsd on April 21, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Can I pick SMOD instead?

Rix on April 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Does it really need to be either or? Can’t we just put our collapse in the world where it belongs? On Obama.

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Kerry vs Clinton…

What difference does it make?

right2bright on April 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

On a ten scale, they’re both fractions.
But Kerry is a bigger fraction.

TimBuk3 on April 21, 2014 at 3:02 PM

They are equally bad.

Rode Werk on April 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Thats like asking which is better?

Terminal lung cancer or terminal colon cancer

They both suck big time

txdoc on April 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I do hope Kerry runs against Hillary in 2016 which splits the vote in Democrat preliminaries which then leaves open the door for some little known Hispanic or Asian Democrat female….

The end of the Clinton and Kerry…

albill on April 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

It’s kind of like asking whether explosive diarrhea is better than projectile vomit.

They’re both smelly, disgusting and difficult to clean up afterward. Obviously, its best to have neither. Since we’ve had both (like some of us have had the aforementioned maladies, I guess I can only be happy that we didn’t suffer both maladies simultaneously. Imagine if Kerry had won in 2004, and selected Shillary for SoS!

It would have been “Vomit-Diarrhea-Geddon-Apocalypto-Crapnado-Gate!”

(Yes, I’m stealing from GG on Red-Eye.

ZeusGoose on April 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

What is better ?
A lump in the left breast or a lump in the right breast ?

burrata on April 21, 2014 at 3:12 PM

In answer to the question, it’s too early to say, but Kerry certainly hasn’t been any worse thus far.

If Kerry were to run against Hildebeest in the primaries, I would definintely root for him. Never thought I’d say that. But the thought of looking at that fat, bulbous, stupid, bug-eyed, buck-toothed, booze-ravaged, pale old face of Hildebeest for eight years running is more than my stomach can take.

MisterElephant on April 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

If you’re a conservative, you would never have to vote for either in a primary. If either were nominated for the national ticket, you’d have to be an idiot to vote for any Democrat loon.

That is, unless you’re an idiot, which I hope you’re not.

ZeusGoose on April 21, 2014 at 3:19 PM

But what if, say, UN inspectors verify that Assad has indeed disgorged his chemical weapons per the U.S./Russia disarmament deal?

As to that…there’s this!!

Deano1952 on April 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

ZeusGoose on April 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I have to remember to close my parentheses, once I open them.

No wonder I got held back in third-grade. Of course in Common Core, I could just explain why I didn’t, and all would be well.

ZeusGoose on April 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

That’s like asking is arsenic a better poison than strychnine. Neither are good for human consumption. Likewise, Clinton and Kerry was/is not good for the state dept.

sadatoni on April 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

With brutal honesty, it sure wouldn’t take a h3ll of a lot to be better than her. The real question is whether or not he can muster even that little bit.

oldernwiser on April 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I can’t believe John F’n Kerry is NOT going to run for President. You know he thinks that highly of himself, you know he wants it more than life itself.

That means he is desperate for some kind of Secretary of State ‘achievement’ to rack up to polish up his resume. Someone desperate for an achievement is likely to give away too much.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Can we hold off on our decision to see if John Kerry sends under protected people to unsecured Middle East outposts on the anniversary of 9/11, the day of the Islamist biggest success?

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

This is a trick question like are you still beating your spouse? (yes or no). There is no right answer.

tej on April 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

The entire article is based on the possibility of Kerry accomplishing something. Kerry is as feckless as Hillary, so the discussion is an exercise in academia.

Kerry won’t accomplish anything … and neither did Hillary!

r27cj on April 21, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Less worse doesn’t necessarily mean better…both are bumbling fools.

zoyclem on April 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

The discussion here is which of these two unqualified socialist individuals is more qualified to be Secretary of State. Neither one has been or is good for our country and that should be what’s more important. Political correctness has replaced common sense and has allowed stupidity to reign and if that is not corrected we will become a third world nation with nothing to look forward to.

savage24 on April 21, 2014 at 3:59 PM

As my pal, Mads, once said during the worst ice hockey game we’d ever seen, “it’s a shame someone has to win this one.”

Hucklebuck on April 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Seriously, a used truck tire would be a better SecState than Billary

PJ Emeritus on April 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

I can’t believe John F’n Kerry is NOT going to run for President. You know he thinks that highly of himself, you know he wants it more than life itself.

That means he is desperate for some kind of Secretary of State ‘achievement’ to rack up to polish up his resume. Someone desperate for an achievement is likely to give away too much.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2014 at 3:34 PM

He probably will run. He’s good at running. At least when he’s running away from the truth! Ever since he ‘served’ in Vietnam, got some medals (from lying), then threw medals he had never won over the White House gate and became the leftist’s darling.

If the American people want to become the next whore to this serial gigolo, I guess they get what they want.

That goes for LIV’s, devout Liberals, and all the holier-than-thou libertarians/conservatives who claim they’d rather stay home than vote for some GOP person that doesn’t meet their (almost impossible) standards.

On a positive note: Ketchup will go to the top of the Food Pyramid.

ZeusGoose on April 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

What does it matter, they both suck.

banzaibob on April 21, 2014 at 5:10 PM

This is more trolling right?

Which would you rather have, advanced syphilis or incurable gonorrhea?

Lonetown on April 21, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Hillary was a better Sec of State because she did less.
She’s smaller even than John “Extremely Small” Kerry.

CStevenson on April 21, 2014 at 5:22 PM

The argument should be thus: Under Hillary, the Middle East devolved into the Arab Spring (a train wreck), and the Russian Reset was an utter failure. Then, you continue by pointing out that John Kerry – who is nothing special – did better, but only because it was impossible for someone to do worse.

eski502 on April 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Is there an option C for none of the above? Or maybe you can ask John Heilemann or The Morning Joe.

CommieJuice on April 21, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Is Kerry a better Secretary of State than Hillary?

Yes or no, that’s a low bar of achievement.

RJL on April 21, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Why aren’t Democrats clamoring to nominate him (again) instead of her? Hard to say.

Nothing would give me greater pleasure than another Dem convention where Kerry arrives at the venue via water in a SWIFT boat and “reports for duty.”

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

If he does decide to run, the Swifties will be ready for him.

And remember, their ranks included many who live in MA and endorsed him in the past when he was running for the Senate-because they knew he couldn’t do any damage there, other than renaming Post Offices. It was only when he ran for CIC that they got mad.

Del Dolemonte on April 21, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Would we have ever known who Hillary was if she wasn’t Bill’s wife?

Tater Salad on April 21, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Of course we would have, because as she told us in her own words, she was named for an unknown beekeeper from New Zealand who would be one of the first to summit Mt. Everest. Only problem was, he didn’t actually do that until she was already 6 years old.

Del Dolemonte on April 21, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Well, I guess I’d rather have leprosy than the plague.

connertown on April 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Kerry better than Clinton or Clinton better than Kerry? Looks to me like a race to the bottom.

WestTexasBirdDog on April 21, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Breaking the Logan Act with the North Vietnamese in Paris should have made him a convict.

rrroark on April 21, 2014 at 11:35 PM

It like competing Zero to Zero. Neither had the ability, intelligence nor patriotism to do anything and then they went ahead and proved their lack of ability and diplomacy. Neither should ever be in any office ever, ever again. Hopefully, we have enough true Americans to make that happen this year and 2016. Two truly non-Americans without a clue about us or the world, just their selfies and selfishness.

Roselle on April 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Wow, a race to the bottom. Which is better, one ply or two? The only thing either is good for is to wipe my arse

Highplains on April 23, 2014 at 3:09 AM