The Washington Post

Clinton leaves Kerry some world capitals worth visiting

President Obama and Sen. John Kerry shake hands at Obama's nomination of Kerry as secretary of state on Dec. 21. (Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS)

After all, in terms miles-traveled former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice set a high bar with a record 1,059,247 miles logged, edging Secretary of State Clinton by about 100,000 miles. And Clinton set a formidable record of visiting a stunning 112 countries during her tenure.

Kerry may decide first to visit those few countries Clinton didn’t get to or perhaps didn’t get to very often.

Clinton did leave Kerry a few godsforsaken places like war-torn Mali and Sudan unvisited, but those aren’t places one needs to visit frequently.

But she also left him some fine spots.

First, he can go to Austria. Clinton practically encircled Vienna (though she didn’t go to Slovenia and Slovakia), but, according to the State Department’s list, never stopped for the Sacher torte, the famous chocolate cake at the Sacher Hotel in Vienna.

On that trip or another Kerry can also stop in unvisited Luxembourg, Romania and Cyprus.

He could find some reason to go to Italy, which it appears Clinton only visited once in four years, and stop in Rome to see Ambassador David Thorne, a close pal and twin brother of Kerry’s first wife.

While in Rome he could go to the Vatican, which it appears Clinton skipped, making her only the second secretary of state (Warren Christopher was the other) since Richard Nixon’s first secretary of state, William Rogers, to bypass the Holy See.

Kerry also might want to check in with the Israelis. Clinton went there, but only five times in all, the fewest number of visits since Rogers. (Former Secretary of State George Schultz practically lived there during a lengthy peace effort.)

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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