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The Telegram
  • Editorial: A new job for Kerry

  • Like many of his constituents, we greet Sen. John Kerry’s nomination to be the next secretary of state with mixed feelings.

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  • Like many of his constituents, we greet Sen. John Kerry’s nomination to be the next secretary of state with mixed feelings.
    Kerry has served Massachusetts in elective office for 30 years, in the U.S. Senate since 1984. He has steadily grown in knowledge and public respect. After losing a close race for president in 2004, he remained a national figure on a range of issues. Since the death of  Sen. Ted Kennedy, Kerry has stepped even more firmly into the ranks of the Senate’s most respected leaders.
    But foreign affairs has always been Kerry’s first passion.  He first came to national attention soon after returning from service in Vietnam, when he became one of the most articulate young critics of that war. In 1971, he gave riveting testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a committee he has chaired since 2009. He has been near the center of every foreign policy debate of the last three decades.
    Kerry has traveled the globe as a senator, often pursuing diplomatic tasks for the Obama administration. He has personal relations with most of the world’s leaders. He understands the use of military force from the inside and the outside, and can be trusted to advocate for force if necessary, restraint if possible. For decades, Kerry has been involved in international negotiations on climate change and other environmental issues. He has said he fell in love with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, at a global warming conference in Rio.
    Kerry is more than qualified to serve as secretary of state, and it’s no secret he has long coveted the position. We appreciate having had him as our senator, but we congratulate him on his appointment and wish him well.
    Kerry’s elevation means that political season, which just came to a welcome pause six weeks ago, is open again.
     
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