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Kerry's Layover in Boston to See Grandchild Riles Reporters

Image: Kerry's Layover in Boston to See Grandchild Riles Reporters
(Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 01:42 PM

Reporters and staff were left grumbling for over an hour and a half on Sunday when Secretary of State John Kerry, returning from Europe, made an unscheduled stopover in a snow-covered Boston to visit his new granddaughter.

The Washington Post reports that a dozen reporters, most who live in the Washington, D.C., area, waited while the airplane circled for half an hour as runways were cleared of snow, and then waited longer, stuck on the airplane, while Kerry visited with his family.

It's not the first time Kerry has made personal visit stops. In March, National Public Radio (NPR) reports, Kerry's airplane was diverted for a "refueling stop" in New York en route to the Ukraine, so Kerry could see another grandchild.

Kerry also has used a "refueling stop" as an excuse to join his family on a ski trip, NPR said.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told NPR, "The secretary works in Washington and overseas, but his home is in Boston. It's certainly not uncommon and far from without precedent for secretaries of state or other cabinet officials to return to their hometowns when they have been traveling or working overseas for some time."

Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, came under fire for being dropped off at her home in New York when returning from overseas trips. When reporters complained, State Department spokesman Philippe Reines told them, "I have a three-word suggestion for whoever felt put out. Orbitz Dot Com," the Post reported.

Psaki told the press that Kerry has "followed the same precedent set by his predecessors, many of whom also didn’t live in Washington and had homes elsewhere," which was "certainly not uncommon and far from without precedent," the Post reported.

"As it relates to this weekend," Psaki said, “as you all know, and we’ve discussed from here, his wife has been recovering from her medical emergency in the summer of 2013. She lives in Boston. And it was in Boston where his newest grandchild was born last Friday night. It was only appropriate that he went to visit his daughter," the Post reported.

"There are certainly a number of reasons why a plane stops. To refuel is often one of them."

Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, was hospitalized in critical condition in 2013 for seizure-like symptoms.

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Reporters and staff were left grumbling for over an hour and a half on Sunday when Secretary of State John Kerry, returning from Europe, made an unscheduled stopover in a snow-covered Boston to visit his new granddaughter.
john kerry, boston, airline, granddaughter, media
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2015-42-12
Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 01:42 PM
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