Leaving a job after 28 years can be emotional, sure, but calling the Senate a “great institution” seems to be taking things a bit too far. Incoming Secretary of State John Kerry bid an emotional goodbye to the Senate on Wednesday, calling the legislative body a “lasting memorial to the miracle of the American experiment.” Rejecting the claims of a “broken Senate,” Kerry tearfully defended the Senate’s ability to compromise—and he insisted that junior senators need to keep intact the Senate’s rules, even the filibuster. “It’s not the rules that confound us, per se,” Kerry said. “It’s the choices people make about those rules.” Kerry insisted that his failed ambitions—his unsuccessful 2004 presidential run, his bid for vice president in 2000, and losing the secretary-of-state job in 2008—had made him a better senator.
ADIEU Kerry after approved as Secretary of State on Tuesday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)