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The Restless Mr. Kerry?

Marc Ambinder floats what I can only assume is a trial balloon from John Kerry (or some people close to him): Secretary of the Interior as a consolation prize if he doesn't get Foggy Bottom.

David Wade, back in Kerry's office after a stint in Obamaland, tells me Ambinder's story is "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs." But there sure does seem to be a lot of talk about Kerry seeking a role in an Obama administration. That, of course, flies in the face of what Kerry--and others close to him--told me this past summer, when I wrote that

Kerry, who has seemingly been running for a higher office since he was an undergrad at Yale, has finally achieved an angle of repose. He speaks enthusiastically about the "progressive legislating" on issues like stem-cell research and children's health care that will be possible if Obama wins and Democrats pick up seats. "Then you start building, and then you do the toughies like energy and health care," he says. "I think we could really see a very exciting period." His aides say that he hopes to one day chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the same committee he testified before as a 27- year-old antiwar activist. And, although it is a sensitive topic, given his friendship with Ted Kennedy, the prospect of Kerry eventually becoming Massachusetts's senior senator and an elder statesman of sorts is obviously an appealing one. The fact that these goals only require Kerry to hang around long enough to achieve them suggests a certain level of contentment, in stark contrast to the restless ambition he has always displayed. "I think he's decided that he wants to be a senator," says one Kerry adviser, "and there have been questions about that over the years."

I guess we'll know soon enough whether those questions really have been put to rest--by Kerry himself or by Obama.

--Jason Zengerle