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TOPIC: John Kerry appointed to US Secretary of State role

John Kerry appointed to US Secretary of State role 5 years 2 months ago #4955

  • Steve Tidball
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John Kerry welcomed to State Department
NY Daily News - 4th February 2013

Kerry acknowledges ‘big heels to fill’ with Hillary Clinton departure. ‘Now let’s get to work’ he says in address to staff.

John Kerry, the former head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, greeted his new staff on Monday after replacing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of

As John Kerry assumed his new role as Secretary of State on Monday, he had a tongue-in-cheek question for his new staff: “Can a man actually run the State Department?”

Kerry joked that he has “big heels to fill” after he arrived at the State Department to officially take the agency’s reins from Hillary Clinton.

As he entered the Harry S. Truman building, a mob of assembled staff cheered his arrival. “Welcome JFK” one aide had written on a handmade sign.

Kerry began his remarks on a lighthearted note – joking that if he’s spotted wandering around the building, “It’s because I’m lost.”

John Kerry joked about having 'big heels to fill' during his often-lighthearted speech to State Department personnel.

“Tell me who you are, tell me what you do, and tell me where I am,” he said with a laugh.

More seriously, Kerry talked about his father’s career as a diplomat and his Mozambique-born wife’s multilingualism – saying that foreign service is in his “genes.”

Kerry proudly displayed the first diplomatic passport he was given as a 4 foot, 3 inch-tall 11-year-old with brown hair.

“So as you can see, the only thing that’s changed is the height,” the silver-haired 69-year-old joked.

New Secretary of State John Kerry held up his first diplomatic passport, which he got as an 11 year old.

Kerry thanked President Obama for his nomination in his remarks.

“I think it is beyond fair to say that this president’s vision and what he has implemented … has restored America’s reputation and place in the world and we thank you for what you have done to do that,” Kerry said.

He also took time to honor the memories of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans killed in a Sept. 11 attack on a diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya.

“I will not let their patriotism and their bravery be obscured by politics,” Kerry said, alluding to the partisan firestorm about the Obama administration’s conflicting statements following the attack.

John Kerry was welcomed to the Harry S. Truman building on Monday by a mob of cheering staff.

“I guarantee you that beginning this morning … everything I do will be focused on the security and safety of our people,” he said.

Kerry ended his remarks with a call for his staff to join him on a “great adventure.”

“I need your help. President Obama needs your help,” he said, “To help us to do everything we can to strengthen our nation and to carry those ideals out into the world. Here we can do the best of things that you can do in government.”

“Now let’s get to work,” he concluded.

The State Department noted on Monday that John Kerry will occasionally send personal tweets from the agency’s Twitter account, @StateDept. Those tweets will be marked with the initials “JK,” the agency said.

That announcement raised eyebrows at The Daily Caller, a conservative website, which quickly noted that “JK” is the common shorthand for “just kidding.”


Hillary Clinton will be a hard act to follow, but John Kerry's whole life has pretty much been building up to this job. An excellent appointment.
Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by Steve Tidball.
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