Who Toured It Best?

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When Secretary of State John Kerry took over from his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, many were quick to point out the very different personalities of the two diplomats.

It would be difficult, National Journal mused, to imagine the stiff, lanky Kerry drinking and dancing with his colleagues like Clinton did in Cartagena, Colombia. Their "styles could not be more different," wrote the Miami Herald. Kerry, the paper explained, conjured up images of powerful white men working behind closed doors, whereas Hillary did things like have tea with the empress of Japan before getting down to business. The Christian Science Monitor talked about how Clinton "boogied" in Bogotá and talked with Indian schoolgirls about their dreams, and how we should expect "the tone set by America's top diplomat to change." 

It's true that in the 10 weeks since he became secretary of state, Kerry has not boogied much. But just how different is American diplomacy in the Kerry era? Take a look at these side-by-side pictures of Clinton and Kerry in the same countries, and decide for yourself.

Above, on the left, Hillary Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrive to give statements to the media at the Chancellery in Berlin on Nov. 9, 2009. On the right, Merkel receives John Kerry as they give a statement to the press in Berlin on Feb. 26, 2013.

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Left: Hillary Clinton walks to a meeting at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo with Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi on July 15, 2012. Right: John Kerry poses with Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi after their meeting in Cairo on March 2, 2013.

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Left: Hillary Clinton is welcomed by French President François Hollande prior to a meeting at the Élysée Palace in Paris on July 6, 2012. Right: John Kerry speaks alongside French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius during a press conference in Paris on Feb. 27, 2013.

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