The White House today acknowledged that Secretary of State John Kerry’s broken leg may force a delay in the June 30 deadline for the completion of a nuclear deal with Iran, as Press Secretary Josh Earnest said it was too soon to tell what impact the injury would have on the deadline.
Earnest said he expects Kerry to come roaring back like a tiger – recuperating with “uncommon zeal” – and play a leading role in the discussions. But back in the real world, Kerry is a 71-year-old man who had several hours of surgery today. He’ll be zealously pressing the morphine button on his IV drip for the next few days and then undergoing painful rehabilitation zoned out on other opioids.
Negotiations require a supple and clear mind, stamina, and the ability to gauge your opponents in person, all of which will be unavailable to Kerry during the coming weeks. Obama should consider putting in charge of the talks National Security Advisor Susan Rice – or someone else who will be thinking clearly – at least on a temporary basis.
It was Kerry’s choice to go pedaling out of his presidential suite in Paris pretending he was racing in the Tour de France. Now, unfortunately, he must suffer the consequences of his ill-advised choice so that the rest of us don’t have to – that is, with an even worse deal than the one Kerry is already coming up with.