Kerry to Take Over Foreign Relations Committee?

One of my first thoughts last night when I heard the news that Senator Joe Biden was Obama’s VP pick, was if Kerry would end up chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in that thinking:

Barack Obama’s decision to pick fellow Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) as his VP nominee could have some interesting fallout in the Senate if Democrats win the White House in November.

Biden chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, and is he becomes the next vice president, the panel’s gavel would be up for grabs.

Next in line is Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), who, like Biden, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination this cycle. Early betting by Senate insiders is that Dodd would not give up his chairmanship of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in order to take over Foreign Relations. The thinking is that since Obama and Biden would set foreign policy from the White House, the Foreign Relations Committee wouldn’t be as attractive a post. Also, the housing/mortgage crisis has still not run its course, and with insurance and financial services companies still such an important part of the Connecticut economy, Dodd may be reluctant

Under the Senate Democrats seniority rules, that leaves Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) next in line for the chairmanship, and Kerry would jump at the opportuity, according to Democratic aides. Kerry chairs the Small Business and Entrepeneurship Committee at this time, but taking over an “A” committee would be a huge boost for Kerry. He’d get more staff, first of all, and he’d been at the center of any policy debates during an Obama administration over foreign policy, from a nomination of a new Secretary of State to ratification of a future treaty/status of forces agreement on Iraq.

Kerry is the chair of the Near East, South and Central Asian Affairs subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He also has “seats on the powerful Finance Committee, as well as Commerce, Science and Transportation.”

If for some reason Kerry were not to take on Foreign Relations, next in line is Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), followed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Quite frankly, I can’t imagine Kerry not taking the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, unless of course Obama offers him a cabinet position. As much as I would have loved to see Kerry as the VP pick, I think Biden is a great choice and I get that Kerry is dedicated to continuing to serve in the Senate.

And on that note, I’m glad to see that Kerry has agreed to a debate with Democratic challenger Ed O’Reilly. O’Reilly won’t have any shot at overcoming Kerry in a debate. The idea that he even challenged him is laughable.

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2 Responses to Kerry to Take Over Foreign Relations Committee?

  1. Alrudder says:

    Ironically, being House and Senate Foreign Relations chairmen when your party controls the State Department might be the most insignificant chairmanship on the Hill.  Given the executive branch’s supremacy in national security making. Assuming Dems control all of Pennsylvania Avenue in January, all the next chair can really do is hold oversight hearings and raise issues.  Not really make policy.

  2. beachmom says:

    First off, it seems to me that Kerry tends to turn any position into an important one, as he always thinks outside the box.  He was a mere freshman Senator when he blew open the CIA drugrunning scandal that morphed into Iran/Contra on an obscure subcommittee.I would be pleased with him being either Chairman of the SFRC or Sec of State or A.G.  But we will have to wait and see what happens next.  Plus Obama has to win for any of these scenarios to come into play.