John Kerry, statesman

A brief note here to express my enthusiasm, excitement and strong support for the nomination of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to be secretary of State.

I consider myself a good friend, big fan and on many occasions a collaborator with Sen. Kerry, who I believe has the potential to be a brilliant secretary of State in the tradition of George Marshall, who also combined diplomatic and military skills. I strongly defended United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice from attacks on Benghazi that I believed were unfair to her and believe she has a future as brilliant as Secretary of State-designate Kerry.

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Let me also express my profound admiration for former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, who I believe would be an outstanding secretary of Defense if President Obama chooses him, which I personally hope he does. I strongly disagree with attacks against him from neoconservatives and believe that Hagel's military and diplomatic expertise would serve our nation, our security and our allies well.

I have known many members of the House and Senate and believe that Kerry and Hagel are two of the finest leaders I have ever known.