John Kerry unleashed on Twitter once again

John Kerry at his confirmation hearing last week. (AP Photo)
File: Secretary of State John Kerry (AP Photo)

Secretary of State John F. Kerry jubilantly returned to writing his own tweets on Tuesday, after nearly a year of Twitter purgatory.

“It only took a year but @StateDept finally let me have my own @Twitter account,” Kerry exulted in the first tweet from @JohnKerry since April. He even came up with his own hashtag: #JKTweetsAgain.

Later Tuesday, Kerry tweeted this: “Just put out statement on barrel bombs. No people should have to suffer barbaric acts of the Assad regime. #Syria.”

Kerry was a prolific tweeter when he was in the Senate, and as the top diplomat he has used an official State Department feed to muse on everything from Russia to hockey to the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Those @StateDept tweets are signed “JK” to denote his personal involvement, but they just weren’t quite as much fun.

“This re-launch stemmed from the secretary's own desire to talk and engage with a public audience on foreign policy, making foreign policy less foreign,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

“We just determined that it was the right time, a year in, for the secretary to be able to share his own personal voice.”

A State Department official added that Kerry’s Twitter habit often made his Senate staff nervous, but that Kerry believed then and now that direct engagement on social media is vital for modern leaders.

“More and more of his colleagues among foreign ministers have asked him for his Twitter handle, and he decided nothing beats the original,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a change that probably still makes a few people nervous.

Amid the discussion of world affairs, expect some Kerry Unbound.

“Because he likes to keep us on his toes, he’s also threatening us with some lighter fare,” the official said. “In other words, some foreign ministers may soon learn more about the Boston Bruins than they ever dreamed.”

 

Anne Gearan is The Washington Post's diplomatic correspondent.
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