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How Does One Plan For Nine-Day International Trip As Secretary Of State?

November 1, 2013

This is one of those posts that I am sure only myself is left pondering about.

Today I read the news that Secretary of State John Kerry is planning a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe to soothe rattled nerves over Syria and the blow-back from NSA surveillance techniques.  The issues are top-notch in importance for the world community, and at least in some quarters leaders need to have someone to hold their hand and alert them to the fact the United States still has their best interests at heart.

But as I thought about a nine-day trip overseas with time changes, dietary needs, and sleep patterns on top of the energized and alert state that the whole team requires it made me want to know more about how such a trip is planned.  Not for the first time does this topic cross my mind, but as I look out on a gray Madison afternoon and not having a ton on my schedule for the weekend alerts me to the fact the last thing I want is a non-stop itinerary for over a week.

Clearly there is a system that plays out almost seamlessly for such trips, but would it not be fun to have a documentary to show just how all the pieces come together.  And not only does this apply for the state department personnel, but also the reporters who are only (in most cases) a few paces behind.

When Kerry was running for president I know he had a close staffer who along with countless other duties had the peanut butter sandwich making materials for the candidate who needed some energy between stops.  I wonder if our Secretary of State does the same?  I sure would want some comfort foods along on a journey.

Stock the pantry on the jet with plenty of potatoes and fixings for homemade gravies.  (Well that would be my need should I ever be called upon to hold Merkel’s hand over her confusion as to how the world really works.)

Yes, I find her ‘outrage’ a little too theatrical.

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