Conventional wisdom (or hope) has current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton likely to run - but what if she is really looking to retire like she has claimed many times?
John Kerry is giving up his Senate seat that was his for life for what at most is a four year gig. His senate seat schedule is up in 2014 and then not again until 2020 meaning if Scott Brown wins his seat (special and then 2014 GE) Kerry couldn't challenge for it until 2020 where Brown would be entrenched himself, and no way Kerry would primary challenge any Democrat should we hold his seat (Markey, Capuano) and isn't about to primary Warren in 2018.
John Kerry will be 73 years old in 2016, old by today's standard, but not historically. Really Pres Obama running at 47yo was the anomaly. Romney is 65 years old, McCain was 72 for his run, Ronald Reagan was 70 years old a month after inauguration, Bill Clinton was 47 as well, Bob Dole won party nomination at 73, George HW Bush was 65yo. Dems seem to nominate younger candidates - GOP doesn't seem to have issue with 65+ crowd.
Kerry could be looking to retire in 2016, but had indicated in the past year that he would run for re-election of his seat in 2014, meaning he was looking to be in the Senate until 2020 at the very least. He never struck me as a guy looking to retire and relax, but more a Senate lifer.
John Kerry will sail through nomination process and will secure 80+ votes out of the Senate. This will make it harder for the same Senators to blast him in 2016 given they're giving him their nod to be Secretary of State, which is arguable the second most important position in the Presidents administration, only behind the President himself. Also Hillary Clinton's favorable numbers skyrocketed as Secretary of State, as it's a non-partisan position, which means they're largely above partisan attacks (unless you really screw up) and are treated with certain deference by the media (again unless your really screw up). You're seen regularly visiting foreign leaders in foreign capitals, usually surrounded with certain pomp, or seen rushing to the scene of a diplomatic "situation".
Also since Kerry ran for President before, he's nationally known and already has Presidential campaign experience that would allow him to enter his name much later. He could come in mid to late summer 2015 without any damage. This is a huge benefit given he'll be able to see the lay of the land - all other candidates, on both sides, will long be declared. If the Dem side is lacking and/or the GOP side looks too strong - Kerry could jump in.
I think it's Hillary's decision first and Kerry and many other Dems will defer to her. But if she passes I think Kerry could be considering a run in the back of his mind. The Dem field could have O'Malley, Hickenlooper, Cuomo, Schweitzer, Patrick, Gillibrand, Warner, Feingold - which is solid, but as of now unspectacular as national brand names. Christie, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio all have legs up on national name value and if all four were in on the GOP side, the MSM would treat them all as rock stars and THE race to watch, with Dems side - if Sec.Clinton didn't run - as an afterthought.
What say you? Is Kerry looking at the Secretary of State job as his career capper or could he padding his resume for one last run at the WH?