“Another thing he will be wrong about,” quips Ben Shapiro.
Question: Did Kerry mean this the way it came out or did the audience detect a joke that wasn’t really intended?
JOHN KERRY: We’ll have injured our own credibility in, conceivably, an irreparable way. Not irreparably. There’s time, and that’s just too dramatic. But we will have done great injury to ourselves. And it will hurt for the endurance of a year, two years, whatever, while the [Trump] administration is there.
[crowd laughs and claps]
Kerry gets a sheepish look on his face that suggests he meant it, or at least caught the unintended meaning that made the audience react. It sounds to me in context, though, like the reference to “a year, two years, whatever” isn’t a guess at how long the Trump administration will last but rather a guess at how long tensions between the U.S. and its allies will last if/when the Trump administration pulls out of the Iran deal or whatever. That’s why he catches himself and corrects himself when he first says America’s credibility will have been damaged “in an irreparable way.” Well, not irreparably, he continues — maybe for “a year, two years, whatever.” That’s what I think he was trying to say. But the audience at Davos, filled with anti-Trump “globalists,” heard it differently. A little wishcasting creeping in, no?
Incidentally, Tom Friedman and John Kerry chatting about foreign relations at Davos is the most elitist thing ever. Maybe if you had a “Sponsored by Goldman Sachs” logo somewhere onscreen and a quick cut to Christiane Amanpour laughing in the audience you could up the quotient a tiny bit, but this is pretty much maxed out.