Kerry diplomatic while not being diplomat

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Senator John Kerry spent a good deal of time over the weekend being diplomatic even as his staff played down his interest in being the country’s top diplomat.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delivered an Egyptian tour de force during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” amid some back-and-forth about his possible interest in serving as secretary of state in the future.

Globe columnist Joan Vennochi intensified the discussion last week with an op-ed piece headlined, “Kerry’s sharp eye on the secretary spot.” Building off a column about the turmoil in Egypt that Kerry himself wrote last week for The New York Times, Vennochi said the Massachusetts Democrat “is running an unofficial campaign to become the next secretary of state. For once, he looks artful, as well as ambitious.”

The column prompted ABC News to ask Kerry’s staff whether, in fact, he was running a stealth campaign to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has confessed to being bone-weary amid the incessant travel that underpins the life of any secretary of state.

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