Replacing Hillary

Regarding possible successors to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel can’t resist a little snark:

Among the maybe-candidates are Massachusetts Senator ex-Presidential nominee John Kerry and former Utah Governor, ambassador to China, and too-reasonable-to-survive-the-primary Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. While Huntsman and Kerry have both demonstrated that they have foreign policy chops, the US hasn’t had a white male Secretary of State since 1997. Is America ready?

The Secretary of State job requires both tenacity and restraint, both of which may be difficult for a man’s unique chemical constitution. The male hormone testosterone, while responsible for such wondrous miracles as back hair and upper body strength, is also responsible for an increase in male aggression, anger, and even violence. Diplomacy is a difficult enough task without having to temper a man’s natural tendency to throw chairs through windows when angered by gridlock.

Further, it’s a well-known fact that men’s lack of intuition and emotional intelligence has translated into a troubling inability to cry under appropriate circumstances. War, death, and destruction are horrifying realities that Secretaries of State from Madeleine Albright to Condoleezza Rice have had to face, and an insufficient emotional response to tragedy will reflect poorly on our country. Do we want our allies to think we’re a bunch of callous jerks who are totally unmoved by the death of innocents?

Yes, Huntsman has been a career diplomat who has managed to avoid punching foreign leaders in the face out of anger during his work for four different Presidential administrations or inappropriately smiling during serious discussions because he’s excited that the Utah Utes football team won. And sure, John Kerry’s tenure as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been remarkably free of in-chamber shootings, but any testosterone-producing, low emotion man is a ticking time bomb. If either Jo(h)n ends up accepting an appointment as Secretar of State, let’s hope the Obama administration is smart enough to recommend he always travel with a trusted female chaperone who can help him navigate the volatile male hormonal landscape.

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About Jay Pinho

Jay is a recent graduate of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York. Previously he studied international security at L'Institut d'Études Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. He currently writes about politics, foreign affairs, and journalism and continues to make painstakingly slow progress in amateur photography.

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