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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

Salesforce rolls the dice on Slack

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Salesforce's likely acquisition of workplace messaging service Slack — not yet a done deal but widely anticipated to be announced Tuesday afternoon — represents a big gamble for everyone involved.

For Slack, challenged by competition from Microsoft, the bet is that a deeper-pocketed owner like Salesforce, with wide experience selling into large companies, will help the bottom line.

FBI stats show border cities are among the safest

Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation; Note: This table includes the eight largest communities on the U.S.-Mexico border and eight other U.S. cities similar in population size and demographics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

U.S. communities along the Mexico border are among the safest in America, with some border cities holding crime rates well below the national average, FBI statistics show.

Why it matters: The latest crime data collected by the FBI from 2019 contradicts the narrative by President Trump and others that the U.S.-Mexico border is a "lawless" region suffering from violence and mayhem.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
2 hours ago - Science

The rise of military space powers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nations around the world are shoring up their defensive and offensive capabilities in space — for today's wars and tomorrow's.

Why it matters: Using space as a warfighting domain opens up new avenues for technologically advanced nations to dominate their enemies. But it can also make those countries more vulnerable to attack in novel ways.