While all hell broke loose in Egypt, Secretary of State John Kerry was off on his boat in the Nantucket Sound. Seems like he’s about to get done in by another boat-scandal, right? Not. But he was totally chilling on his boat during the Egyptian unrest. No lie. He was M.I.A. during President Obama’s meeting with the National Security Council. He says he had called into the meeting. Really? Neither the White House nor the State Department could get the story straight:
The State Department flip-flopped yesterday and conceded that Secretary of State John Kerry had been on his 76-foot yacht in Nantucket on Wednesday, contradicting an earlier official denial.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had denounced a tweet by CBS News’ Mosheh Oinounou on Wednesday that read: “A @CBSThisMorning producer just spotted Secretary of State Kerry on yacht in the Nantucket Boat Basin. No response when she shouted, ‘Morsi!’ ”
The reference was to ex-President Mohamed Morsi, who fell victim to a coup that same day in an event that prompted an emergency meeting of President Obama’s top security advisers. Kerry participated by phone.
Psaki initially charged that the tweet was “completely inaccurate” and went on to say that Kerry was hard at work and in “nonstop” communication with foreign leaders, after wrapping up a 10-day trip to the Middle East.
But everything changed after The Boston Herald published photos of Kerry yesterday aboard a sea kayak, holding a small backpack as he prepared to board a powerboat.
John Kerry is fast becoming a horrible choice for Secretary of State, in my opinion. Not only did the State Department bungle the revocation of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s passport — sending the wrong middle name and omitting his passport number — but John Kerry seems to have butter fingers on whatever he touches:
Kerry’s vacation kerfuffle is being seen as the latest stumble in what has already been a rocky five months for the nation’s top diplomat.
“Kerry is having a pretty tumultuous tenure at the State Department,” Tom Whalen of Boston University said. “It seems everything he touches is not turning out well.”
Said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution: “I’m not sure he’s really fully established himself as the go-to guy on foreign policy in the public’s eye here in the United States. I would think he’d want to define his leadership on some of the big crises of the day. Let him have his Fourth of July weekend, but recognize that this is an issue — Egypt — where he’s probably got to step up his game.”
There’s a lot to be upset with the Obama Administration about and this latest kerfuffle with John Kerry lends credence to the fact that Obama is being advised by some questionable characters, some of whom seem to be clueless. For the record, I am a centrist and I will criticize the Obama Administration from time to time.