Here’s the punchline of James Taranto’s most recent column in the Wall Street Journal:
John Kerry would be a great diplomat if only the Israelis and Palestinians could be replaced by holograms.
I seem to be in a minority in this view but I don’t think that diplomacy is an individual performance activity. Viewing it as such reduces the Department of State to people standing around waiting to hold the president’s or Secretary of State’s coats while they work.
My dissatisfaction with John Kerry’s approach to diplomacy is that he appears to view himself as the President of Foreign Policy, not a constitutional role. And I long ago complained that Mr. Kerry has the appearance of a diplomat without the temperament of one. I think that’s a typical Baby Boomer error. As Tom and Dick Smothers put it, “If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too.”