The Washington Post

Will Kerry’s arrival make for longer cabinet meetings?

U.S. Sen. John Kerry addressing constituents in Boston, Jan. 31, 2013. (Winslow Townson/AP)

Kerry’s emotional and very long farewell address to the Senate on Wednesday came in at around 7,700 words. In contrast, Sen. Daniel Webster’s famous 1830 speech against state nullification of federal laws — widely acclaimed as the greatest ever delivered in the Senate, was only about 4,500 words.

Kerry will be joined in many meetings by his former Senate colleague, Vice President Biden, who’s never been accused of shying away from peroration every now and again.

Indeed, Biden is the holder of the world indoor bloviation record for his spectacular 1,100-word question during Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s confirmation hearing in 1993. It went on so long it seemed Ginsburg wasn’t sure what the question was.

Seems like they might want to schedule an intermission. Maybe two.

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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