John Kerry’s Week of European Rockstardom Is Over
The fun’s over for John Kerry.
It is well-known that Kerry coveted the Secretary of State position before receiving it during President Obama’s second term, and it was probably because he envisioned weeks like this past one in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Sure, negotiating a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear development over the next two decades was probably stressful, high-stakes work. But as we all learned this week, it came with an adoring Swiss fan base to fawn over him as he did so. The Secretary of State, whom Americans have compared to Frankenstein’s monster, was something of a sex symbol over there in Europe. Headlines called him a “weapon of mass seduction.” The man couldn’t walk into a coffee shop without getting selfie requests.
A perceptive waitress told the Swiss paper 24 Heures that Kerry seemed to be enjoying all this. “I think this man needs and wants to mingle with people,” she told the paper. Well sure. The guy’s a politician. Even so, all good things must come to an end. Early this morning, Kerry reentered the good-for-nothing, ungrateful world of American politics, where European mannerisms aren’t applauded; they’re mocked. Even so, Kerry is back to sell the framework of an Iran deal to his people.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 3, 2015
He began that process with a press conference from Switzerland, then an op-ed in the Boston Globe laying out the parameters of the outlined agreement and the years of negotiations that went into reaching it. He seemed to predict opposition when he wrote:
I know that some will suggest that the agreed parameters are not sufficient, but the burden will be on them to prescribe a specific and plausible alternative to a better outcome. The fact is that we have reached an important milestone in our years-long effort to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is and remains wholly peaceful.
And indeed, opposition has already arrived in the form of Republican presidential contenders. Politico reports:
The three top potential GOP hopefuls [Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker] posted full statements hours after Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry held back-to-back press conferences to explain and publicly sell the virtues of the framework.
So … it’s back to business for John Kerry. No more hammering out historic deals with world leaders while taking selfies with an adoring Swiss audience. No, it’s back to the partisan politics of America.
As they say in Lausanne, bienvenue aux États-Unis, Monsieur le secrétaire. Did you miss us?