No. That isn’t a typo. I’m sure that you know about John Kerry. He’s the still pretty new Secretary of State. But you probably don’t know about Cameron Kerry. Cameron is your acting Secretary of Commerce and John’s younger brother. This is the first time that brothers have been in the cabinet at the same time. It won’t last long: Penny Pritzker will be confirmed one day and Cameron will go back to being General Counsel at Commerce.
The history-making move is also proving that, well, having two Secretary Kerrys can get quite confusing.
In the Commerce Department, where officialdom prohibits first name usage, staffers have started referring to John Kerry as “the other Secretary Kerry.” When appointments are made at the White House Mess, they now have to specify which Secretary Kerry the reservation is for – and, when paying, Cameron Kerry has been tempted to simply say, “Just put it on his tab.”
Last week, Cameron and John Kerry both signed off on a diplomatic cable to be sent to missions overseas that house employees of both the Commerce and State Departments. The cable said, in all caps, it was from “Secretary Kerry and Acting Secretary of Commerce Kerry.”
“Which is going to confuse the hell out of some people in missions abroad,” Cameron Kerry said.
But as Joe Biden says “Two Kerrys are better than one.”
- Cabinet to get a second Secretary Kerry (wyff4.com)
- Cabinet to get a second Secretary Kerry (ksat.com)
- Kerry’s Hebrew joshing (jta.org)
Photograph: Drew Angerer for the Boston Globe