Mr. Kerry, the Globe reported, made clear he wasn't criticizing President Obama but was noting the drag of budget cuts on foreign policy engagement. "I just think we're not as quick to pick up the baton as we were, perhaps, back then," he told the Globe. "There's a lot of cynicism around, a lot of debate about what can be achieved. ... I think if there's one dominant feature that sort of characterizes the American political process right now, and even global challenges, it's frustration."