John Kerry: cool customer

You’ve got to hand it John Kerry, the presumptive next secretary of state.

He was making an opening statement Thursday in front of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a panel he still chairs. Then a woman erupted in the back of the hearing room, shouting about needing to find peace with the Iranians. She yelled something about killing innocent people and how it must stop. She yelled her protest for perhaps about 30 seconds.

Then Capitol Hill security officers escorted her out of the room.

Sen. Kerry turned to listen to her and then, after she left the room, he turned back to the committee and recalled his first exposure to D.C. power, which was in the 1970s when he was protesting our nation’s conduct of the Vietnam War, in which he served in combat as a Navy officer. Kerry said his own protest in those contentious times underscored the American virtue of valuing dissent and said that is a quality that must exist to this day.

Thus, he said, the young woman’s protest on Thursday also was an appropriate expression, which he said served to punctuate perfectly his own appearance in front of the Senate panel.

That’s what I call a cool customer who thinks well on his feet.

And that coolness will serve John Kerry well as he takes over as the nation’s top foreign service officer.

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