John Kerry's Senate scene from 'The Godfather: Part II'

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

John Kerry's Senate hearing on Thursday was a much friendlier affair than the fictional appearance of mob leader Michael Corleone before a Senate panel that was depicted in the movie The Godfather: Part II. But that didn't stop Kerry, President Obama's nominee for secretary of State, from drawing inspiration from the film.

In the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, senators heaped praise on Kerry for his almost 30 years of service in the Senate and his dedication to foreign policy. The only contentious moment arose when the nominee was asked about Chuck Hagel, Obama's pick for secretary of Defense.

Kerry, in his introduction, thanked Sens. John McCain and Elizabeth Warren and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for their laudatory comments about him. But he acknowledged a role reversal -- he has chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for years and now is on the receiving end of the committee's questions. He told the senators he had never “seen a more distinguished and better-looking group of public officials in my life,” and he joked that the hearing might turn into a scene from the second Godfather movie.

“I want you to know that a couple nights ago, I was watching Godfather II,” Kerry said. “So be forewarned: If someone suddenly shows up with my long-lost brother back in the audience, all bets are off, folks.”

The senators laughed, as they did at several of Kerry’s quips throughout his testimony. But, alas, no long-lost brother showed up. In The Godfather: Part II, former mobster Frank Pantangeli appeared before a Senate committee to testify on the Corleone family’s mob behavior. In the movie, Pantangeli, before he began his testimony, noticed his brother from Sicily in the back of the room. Not wanting to shame the family, he denied his previous affidavit to the dismay and shock of the senators, and mob boss Corleone walked free.

The panelists for Kerry’s hearing were a kinder to him. Fittingly, Sen. Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, who served as the temporary head of the committee, mistakenly called him, “Secretary Kerry.”

“I have a sense of clairvoyance,” he said.

Democrats weren't the only ones to praise Kerry. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the ranking Republican on the panel, commended Kerry on his service and predicted a speedy confirmation.

“There’s no one in the United States Senate that's spent more time than you have on issues important to our country,” Corker said in his opening remarks, later adding, “My sense is your confirmation will go through very, very quickly.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.