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John Kerry as secretary of State: expect a more traditional style (+video)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her late-night dancing and talks with children, was known for her 'people to people' style. John Kerry is expected to adopt a more traditional version of diplomacy.

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As secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton has boogied the night away in Bogotá, chatted about life’s dreams with schoolgirls in India, and fended off one persistent African goatherd’s proposal to take her daughter as his next bride.

When Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts replaces Secretary Clinton as secretary of State – the job that President Obama nominated Senator Kerry for on Friday – expect the tone set by America’s top diplomat to change. In an era when being secretary of State is increasingly about style as much as substance, many foreign-policy experts say, the five-term senator and quiet policy negotiator is expected by many to return the office to a more traditional version of diplomacy.

In announcing his selection of Kerry, Mr. Obama said that, as the son of a Foreign Service officer and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is well known and “respected” by dozens of world leaders, Kerry “is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training.” Kerry still must win Senate confirmation, but he is not expected to encounter much resistance, with key senators like John McCain (R) of Arizona already referring to him as “Mr. Secretary.”


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