MANAMA, Bahrain — John Kerry is now the most traveled secretary of state in U.S. history, breaking the record as he arrived in the Middle East kingdom of Bahrain on Wednesday.
The trip pushed Kerry past 1.06 million miles as America’s top diplomat, narrowly beating Condoleezza Rice by about 1,000 miles. Rice, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush, held the previous mark with 1.059 million miles.
Kerry eclipsed Hillary Clinton’s mileage tally in December.
With 10 months left before a new president takes office, Kerry is showing no signs of tempering his hectic travel schedule. He flew to the Mideast on Tuesday from New York after attending an energy conference, stopping in Ireland to refuel. He plans to visit Japan later in the week.
With no immediate plans to leave the State Department, Kerry could easily pad his new record by hundreds of thousands of miles before departing government.
The former Massachusetts senator and former Democratic presidential nominee has spent more than 2,300 hours — or 96 days — in the air since becoming secretary of state in February 2013. He has spent parts of 467 different days on his well-worn government plane.
One record eludes Kerry still: Clinton’s 112 countries visited on the job.
Having shuttled regularly between several favorite destinations — including Paris, London and Jerusalem — Kerry had only been to 80 countries.
Bahrain makes 81.
This week’s visit to the capital of Manama is the first by an American secretary of state since demonstrations by the kingdom’s Shiite majority in 2011. Saudi and Emirati troops helped put down the protests, though discontent continues to this day. Human rights groups chastise Bahrain’s Sunni rulers for repression and discrimination.
Kerry will raise human rights concerns when he meets top officials from Bahrain and the Persian Gulf region’s other Sunni monarchies countries Thursday. But the focus will be on battling the Islamic State and shared concerns over Iran.