John Kerry Is Pretty Popular This Week
The Senator's fight for a U.N. Treaty has folks like Jon Stewart singing his praises.
For a guy whose main presence in the press of late has been a (mostly caricatured) seething desire for the Secretary of State position, Senator John Kerry is receiving an awful lot of glowing praise this week for news unrelated to his cabinet ambitions. Kerry urged his colleagues to ratify a United Nations treaty that encouraged countries to pass measures that would protect the disabled, measures similar to those we have here in the United States. The treaty fell short of the two-thirds vote required to pass the Senate because a good number of Republicans ignored the urging of leaders like John McCain and Bob Dole, fearing it would infringe on the United States's sovereignty. So angered were people by this defeat, that they're elevating the status of the guy who fought hard for it to “cool kid.” Â Here are some of Kerry's more notable admirers from just the past 24 hours:
1. The Boston Globe. In a Thursday editorial, the paper rails against the arguments of those opposed to the treaty and singles out our Senator for praise. “John Kerry, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made a heroic effort, in a flurry of opinion pieces, to separate fact from myth,” they write. “He should not give up.” Their praise isn't that surprising as they've recently written other nice things about Kerry, but mostly they've related to his potential for a cabinet position. This is just praise for the job he's already doing.
2. The Daily Show. Bestowing his ultimate cool kid seal of approval, Jon Stewart had kind words for Kerry last night. He plays footage of a press conference during which John McCain poked fun at Kerry by referring to him as “Mr. Secretary.” StewartÂ proved that he's usually pretty inclined to mock Kerry by imagining the Senator's stiff response to this fun-poking. To Stewart's surprise, Kerry actually replied to McCain with, “Thank you very much, Mr. President.” This smackdown prompts Stewart to make this face:
Says Stewart: “Two things: One. Solid, concise joke. Two. A little disproportionate. McCain teased you about the job you might get, and you hit him with the failure of his life.” Luckily, Kerry knows a little something about losing a presidential race, too.
3. John Kerry's Twitter followers (as curated by John Kerry.) Nowhere is praise for John Kerry higher than in John Kerry's own Twitter stream. Kerry is a surprisingly adept Twitter user for an elected official, but his stream had been pretty quiet lately … until the treaty's defeat, that is, at which point he went into overdrive. People have been tweeting their thanks to Kerry for his efforts to pass the disabilities treaty, and rather than reply, Kerry has been retweeting them and appending messages telling them to keep up their own efforts. Â Here are some of several examples:
I'll keep at it – u do too pls! MT @petermorency As both a constituent and a disabled person, I want to thank Kerry for leadership on treaty
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) December 4, 2012
No â€“ THANK YOU. Donâ€™t give up. We will beat them soon. God Bless. MT @anjalifp thank you for continued leadership/advocating for the treaty
â€” John Kerry (@JohnKerry) December 4, 2012
His Twitter feed has been one long humble brag, but it does have the insidious effect of giving the impression that he's receiving piles of thanks for his efforts.
Why is the fact that John Kerry is having such a good week important? It's not really, and he'd probably be having a better week if his issue had actually met with success. But compare his press lately with that of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, whom many suggest Obama will nominate for Secretary of State, and who others suggest will be met with resistance in the Senate. As another Globe editorial noted recently, “a knock-down, drag-out fight over Rice … would be an inauspicious way for Obama to begin his next term.” If Kerry keeps having weeks like this one, he might start to look great to a weary Obama.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2012/12/06/john-kerry-popular-week/