Clinton Boosts Kerry on Afghan Mission

Old rivals appear to forge durable alliance
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2009 11:00 AM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stands with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., right, and the committee's ranking Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton was instrumental in convincing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to accept a runoff election—but it was what she didn’t do that mattered most. She didn’t interfere with erstwhile rival John Kerry’s mission. In fact, sources say, Clinton facilitated the meeting between Kerry and Karzai and then stepped away. “We had a terrific working relationship,” Kerry tells Politico. “I reached out to her, she gave me her confidence, she was completely supportive.”

Kerry says the opportunity sort of fell into his lap. “We have an immense amount at stake in Afghanistan, and I felt ‘when you see a moment, move.’” The Kerry-Clinton alliance, unimaginable when the two were both up for secretary of state, appears durable. “If you have those hang-ups, don’t leave them hanging,” says Kerry, now ensconced as chair of the foreign relations committee. As for Clinton, “she has her unique network of relationships,” an official says. “Kerry was very helpful.”