Secretary Kerry presents giant Idaho spuds to Russian counterpart

Secretary of State John Kerry, who has long had a vacation home in Ketchum, presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with two huge Idaho bakers Monday in Paris as the pair were about to resume talks on Syria.

Lavrov, who had asked about Idaho’s world-famous export at an earlier meeting, called the russets “impressive” according to NBC News.

Photos of the spudestroika exchange are available on links above. The first is from New York magazine, the second from NBC. The shots were taken by Pablo Martinez Monsivais of AFP-Getty Images.

It’s not the first time Kerry has pitched Idaho products on the world stage. When Kerry ran for president in 2004, he took reporters on a rigorous Sun Valley ski vacation.

The home in Ketchum also has been the site of numerous Democratic Party fundraisers. Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, first shared the $5 million property with her late husband, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. John Heinz.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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