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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