John Kerry's dream of becoming America's next top diplomat (i.e. secretary of state) has become something of a reality show saga in recent weeks as a rotating cast of characters challenge his rise to the top. It's no secret that Kerry, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wants the position badly, but it's not just going to fall into his lap.
In our first season of America's Next Top Diplomat, everything went Kerry's way. He got some experience as unofficial administration envoy to troubled areas in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, delivered a national security speech at the Democratic National Convention, and cut his teeth on the legislative effort to forge agreement on the Law of the Seas Treaty: Nice items on your CV even if they weren't particularly productive. Then, things got even better: His chief rival for Secretary of State, Susan Rice, became embroiled in the controversy surrounding the Obama administration's bungled briefings on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. (The intelligence Rice cited in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks turned out to be wrong.) While some Republicans called for her resignation, Kerry came off looking magnanimous, gently defending Rice's actions. Suffice it to say: Season one was a roaring success, but season two, set in Massachusetts, is not going so well.