Mitchell Reports | February 04, 2013
>> i'm waurpding around the building later and i sort of wind up in your office, it's not because i'm there for a meeting. it's because i'm lost, and i need directions. so just tell me who you are, tell me what you do, and tell me where i am.
>> the new secretary of state john kerry as he arrived today on his first official day on the job and joining me now is matt pfizer, white house correspondent for the boston globe who had a lot of years put in the massachusetts with the boston globe covering john kerry , and you have the tour of massachusetts , his fair well tour last thursday.
>> i think it was where he said good-bye to people in small towns and he let his hair down a little bit with you about when he actually got the job offer.
>> yeah. i mean, he told us that it was a week before susan rice got out of -- took herself out of contention for the secretary of state's job. it was with a personal call between obama and carriry. which i think raised eyebrows given the timing of that. i mean, we thought it was much later than that.
>> well, in fact, as a result of my calls to follow-up on your story, we had a response from the carry folks who said that private discussions are best kept private in my imprecise overly casual answer about timing confused things. lou many private conversations over a long and bezy period approximate for were, i knew the president was interested in the possibility of my serbs as secretary of state, but he did not formally offer me the job in late september . which also reflects his openness as a person of the senate and someone who has run for president, he is so used to dealing with reports. he gets comfortable, but he is also very quick to respond.
>> he was very comfortable in the interview. i mean, the question that spurred his answer was just sort of when did you hear, how did you find out that you had been offered the job, and that -- his response was that the president called him a week before.
>> and i don't know if we have the pictures of it, but today when he arrived at the state department , he then after his brief remarks walked through and shook hands with everybody. he was very much comfortable and also reaching out and trying to reassure people this is the new leadership. that you have the celebrity of hillary clinton , but i think people were really feeling someone -- he waived the passport that he had as a child with his mother and father and told an engaging story about having taken his bike -- used his diplomatic passport as a 12-year-old to go in to then east berlin , the wrong side of the wall, and going around and looked like on the, you know, the soviet side.
>> of the iron curtain , which was the iron curtain then. 57 years ago. he said the tabloids now could say kerry had early communist tendencies and said as a child he noticed the stark difference between freedom and what he saw on the other side and his father found out, of course, and grounded him and took the passport.
>> revoked the passport from him.
>> that was a very engaging story to enlist and identify with all of those people in the foreign service community there, as well.
>> yeah. i think this moment for kerry is interesting. it is a job he's wanted for sometime and he felt comfortable last week and sometimes un- kerry -like and lingering talking to rank and file politicians in massachusetts and a bit of nostalgia leaving that job and entering the new jb.
>> you have to watch from both ends and see if the white house and the national security council lets him weigh in on policy, how much of a leash he's on because they have a way of controlling things out of the white house as hillary clinton discovered.
>> i think john kerry 's hoping to take the first trip i think sometime in the next couple of weeks so we'll be eager to see where he chooses to go and hoping to have on foreign policy .
>> i'm betting on the middle east myself.
>> thank you very much. good