U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will not attend the Allen & Co. media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Friday, leaving the gathering of one-percenters without a headline attraction.
“There’s been a change in his travel plans,” said Nicole Thompson, a spokeswoman for the State Department.
Kerry was in China on Thursday in closed-door meetings with officials to try to alleviate regional tensions stemming from the country’s naval maneuvers in the South China Sea, according to the New York Times. He then made a stop in Afghanistan to meet with the country’s leaders, a group that included President Hamid Karzai and presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah & Ashraf Ghani, according to the State Department Twitter feed.
His visit to the Allen & Co. conference drew mocking coverage in the New York Post, with the paper noting that Kerry would be socializing with media moguls at a time when Iraq is grappling with regional instability and Israel is engaging in air raids in Gaza. The Post’s headline read: “Israel? Iraq? What, me worry? Kerry hitting Sun Valley,” so there may have been an optics issues in addition to the demands of international travel.
Kerry, who owns a home in Sun Valley, was scheduled to be interviewed by Charlie Rose. Buzz around the conference is that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may replace him as a speaker.