As regime change was unfolding in Egypt, Secretary of State John Kerry spent time on his boat Wednesday afternoon in Nantucket Sound, the State Department acknowledged to CBS News on Friday, after repeatedly denying that Kerry was aboard any boat.It was a transparently stupid thing to do:
"While he was briefly on his boat on Wednesday, Secretary Kerry worked around the clock all day including participating in the President's meeting with his national security council," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, naming a series of Egyptian and international officials Kerry had spoken with on Wednesday.
A "CBS This Morning" producer spotted Kerry on his boat Wednesday afternoon on Nantucket, where Kerry has a vacation home. When "CBS This Morning" senior producer Mosheh Oinounou tweeted about the sighting, Psaki issued a denial, calling the tweet "completely inaccurate" and said Kerry has been "working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt."
Also on Wednesday afternoon, the White House released a photo of the president and his national security team meeting in the situation Room. Kerry was not present in the photo, but his office said he did participate in the meeting via a secure phone line.
|Sail on, Sailor|
This isn't complicated, really. No one expects Kerry, or any other government official, to be on duty 24/7. In most cases it's preferable if they aren't on duty, especially a guy like Kerry. And I'm perfectly willing to believe that Kerry was participating in the meetings via phone while he was tooling around on his yacht. I'm prepared to imagine that Kerry is capable of multitasking. And if the issue is perception, that's just silly: Kerry almost won the presidency in 2004 and by now everyone knows that Kerry has a crapload of money. The idea that he might be on his yacht wouldn't be particularly surprising or even controversial. I don't begrudge him enjoying the benefits of his wife's inheritance; it's nice work if you can get it. Just don't lie about it. Or at least look at the Twitter feed closely enough to see if there are pictures attached.