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John Kerry speaks at the Chatham House event. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg, outgoing president, introduced John Kerry as the next president of Alfalfa Club. Bloomberg's best: "Who needs the White House when you can be president of the Alfalfa Club?  Actually, I've loved every minute of it. I come to the office every weekday at 11 a.m."

"Here I am — President John Kerry! I knew this day would come. Although given the Alfalfa average income, thank God I didn’t get Swift-yachted.”

Former Secretary of State John Kerry followed:

  • “I’m proud to serve as your new club president. And don’t worry, this  doesn’t mean you’re also getting John Edwards.”
  • “Despite the pressure he’s under, the White House physician says President Trump is in great shape — a trim 239 pounds. Personally, I just won’t believe him until he produces his long-form girth certificate.”
  • “As Mitt Romney and I can attest, being elected in Massachusetts means: You are only a heartbeat away from losing the presidency.”

Kerry's toast:

  • “There’s a fellow Alfalfan, who couldn’t be with us tonight, who I met 32 years ago this month. We both loved the Navy. But we had opposite views about a war in which we’d both served. When we first came to the Senate, we didn’t trust each other. We didn’t really know each other. But after a long conversation on a long flight, we decided to work hand in hand to actually make peace with Vietnam and with ourselves here in America." ...
  • "He loves to debate, he loves to battle.  But one thing the service and the Senate taught John and me — at some point, America’s got to come together."
  • "And I hope you’ll believe the two of us Alfalfans:  If Washington is a city where you can bridge the divide between a protester and a POW, finding common ground on anything else shouldn’t be so hard at all."
  • "I will always thank John McCain for sharing in the discovery of that lesson — and tonight I ask all of you to join me in raising a glass to one of the best and bravest men I know, my friend — our friend — John McCain."

President George W. Bush, making a surprise appearance at last night's Alfalfa Club dinner, gave the Crop Report, which introduces new members:

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.)
  • Lazard chairman and CEO Ken Jacobs
  • Secretary of Defense James Mattis
  • James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R- Ohio)
  • Jerome Powell, incoming Federal Reserve chair
  • Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM
  • Anthony Welters, executive chairman, BlackIvy Group
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Go deeper

24 mins ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Why fears of a SPAC bubble may be overblown

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The SPAC surge continues unabated, with 10 new ones formed since Wednesday morning. And that's OK.

Between the lines: There are growing concerns that retail investors are about to get rolled, with smart sponsors taking advantage of dumb money.