Has Sen. John Kerry ever had as good a press cycle?
He's Politico's "Man Of The Hour".
David Ignatius, the well-regarded spokes-columnist for the hard-bitten CIA case officer set**, called it Kerry's "Star Turn," noting how his outsider credentials and insider trust helped him with over Karzai and smooth tensions between Karzai and Richard Holbrooke, the Af-Pak emissary.
Indeed, most of the stories devoted to Kerry have the exact same analysis: Kerry was reluctantly thrust into the role of negotiator. Kerry developed Karzai's trust. Kerry had the diplomatic skills that current ambassador Karl Eikenberry lacked. Kerry's importuning proved to be the turning point. Oh, and it compares favorably to Kerry's brokering of a dialog between the U.S. and Syria earlier in the year.
The Boston Globe called it a "triumph" for Kerry -- his biggest accomplishment since the presidential race. The Wall Street Journal, along with many other publications, noted that Kerry used his own experience in 2004 to establish a better bond with Karzai. The New York Times editorial page wondered what happened to Holbrooke. In the Guardian, Kerry muscularly "strong-armed" Karzai. Spencer Ackerman tweeted that Kerry had just become the frontrunner for Secretary of State should Hillary Clinton decide to step down.