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John Forbes Kerry


Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 2, 1985
Serving with Scott Brown
Preceded by Paul Tsongas

In office
January 6, 1983 – January 2, 1985
Governor Michael Dukakis
Preceded by Thomas P. O'Neill III
Succeeded by Evelyn Murphy (1987)

Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 6, 2009
Preceded by Joe Biden

In office
January 4, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Olympia Snowe
Succeeded by Mary Landrieu
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Olympia Snowe
In office
January 3 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Kit Bond

In office
August 2, 1991 – January 2, 1993

Born December 11, 1943 (1943-12-11) (age 66)
Aurora, Colorado
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Julia Thorne (divorced)
Teresa Heinz
Children Alexandra Kerry
Vanessa Kerry
H. John Heinz IV (stepson)
Andre Heinz (stepson)
Christopher Heinz (stepson)
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Alma mater Yale University
Boston College Law School
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic
Signature
Website kerry.senate.gov
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1966–1970
Rank Lieutenant
Unit USS Gridley
Coastal Squadron 1
Commands PCF-44, PCF-94
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star
Bronze Star
Purple Heart (3)

John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, and is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.[1] He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost by 34 electoral votes to incumbent President George W. Bush. Senator Kerry is a decorated Vietnam veteran, and was a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War when he returned home from service. Before entering the Senate, he served as an Assistant District Attorney[2] and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis, who was nominated for President by the Democrats in 1988.

Contents

Family background

Kerry is the child of Richard J. Kerry, a Foreign Service Officer and an attorney for the Bureau of United Nations Affairs, and Rosemary Forbes Kerry, a World War II nurse and member of the wealthy Scottish-American Forbes family. He has three siblings: two sisters, Diana (born in 1947) and Margerie (aka Peggy; born in 1941) and a brother, Cameron (born in 1950), Cameron Kerry was picked to be Barack Obama's general counsel of the Commerce Department.[3]

His immediate family members were reportedly observant Roman Catholics. As a child, Kerry served as an altar boy. Although the extended family enjoyed a great fortune, Kerry's parents themselves were upper-middle class; a wealthy great aunt paid for Kerry to attend elite schools in Europe and New England. Kerry spent his summers at the Forbes family estate in Brittany, and there, he enjoyed a more opulent lifestyle than he had previously known in Massachusetts. While living in the U.S., Kerry spent several summers at the Forbes family's estates on Naushon Island off Cape Cod.[citation needed]

Through his maternal grandmother, Margaret Tyndal Winthrop, John Kerry is distantly related to four U.S. Presidents, including George W. Bush,[4] to the first American female writer Anne Bradstreet, to Massachusetts Bay Colony founder and first Governor John Winthrop, and to various royals and nobles in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.[5]

It was discovered in 2003 by genealogist Felix Gundacker,[6] working with The Boston Globe, that Kerry's paternal grandparents, who had been born "Fritz Kohn" and "Ida Löwe" in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, changed their names to "Frederick and Ida Kerry" in 1900 and converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism in 1901[7][8] or 1902.[9] Fritz' elder brother Otto had earlier, in 1887[8] or 1896,[6] also changed his name to "Kerry" and converted from Judaism, presumably to escape violent antisemitism. The "Kerry" name, widely misinterpreted as indicative of Irish heritage, was reputedly selected arbitrarily: "According to family legend, Fritz and another family member opened an atlas at random and dropped a pencil on a map. It fell on County Kerry in Ireland, and thus a name was chosen."[7][9] Leaving the suburb of Vienna where they had lived since 1896, Fred and Ida, together with their son Eric, immigrated to the United States in 1905, living at first in Chicago and eventually moving to Brookline, Massachusetts by 1915.[7]

The village where Fritz Kohn was born in 1873 was at that time known as Bennisch and was a part of Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but is today known as Horní Benešov in the Czech Republic.[8] After learning of his ancestral connection with their village, the mayor and citizens sent congratulatory correspondence to John Kerry with regard to his political pursuits.[8]

For a time, Fred Kerry was a prosperous and successful shoe merchant, and Ida and two of the children, Richard (who would become the father of John Kerry) and Mildred, were able to afford to travel to Europe in the autumn of 1921, returning on October 21.[7] A few weeks later, on November 15, Fred Kerry filed a will leaving everything to Ida and then, on November 23, walked into a washroom of the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a handgun.[7] The suicide was front-page news in all of the Boston newspapers, reporting at the time that the motive was severe asthma and related health problems, but modern reports cite family sources saying that the motive was financial trouble: "He had made three fortunes and when he had lost the third fortune, he couldn't face it anymore", according to granddaughter Nancy Stockslager.[7]

John Kerry has said that although he knew his paternal grandfather had come from Austria, he did not know until informed by The Boston Globe on the basis of their genealogical research that Fred Kerry had changed his name from "Fritz Kohn" and had been born Jewish,[9] nor that his great-uncle and great-aunt, Ida Kerry's brother Otto and sister Jenni, died in Nazi concentration camps.[6]

Early years (1943–1966)

Childhood

Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital on December 11, 1943; his father was a member of the Army Air Corp at the time.[10]

Kerry has said that his first memory is from when he was three years old, of holding his crying mother's hand while they walked through the broken glass and rubble of her childhood home in Saint-Briac, France. This visit came two and a half years after the United States had liberated Saint-Briac from the Nazis on August 14, 1944. The family estate, known as Les Essarts, had been occupied and used as a Nazi headquarters during the war. When the Germans abandoned it, they bombed Les Essarts and burned it down.

The sprawling estate was rebuilt in 1954. Kerry and his parents would often spend the summer holidays there. During these summers, he became good friends with his first cousin Brice Lalonde, a future Socialist and Green Party leader in France, who ran for president of France in 1981.

While his father was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, Kerry was sent to Massachusetts to attend boarding school. In 1957, he attended the Fessenden School in West Newton, a village in Newton, Massachusetts. The Fessenden School is the oldest all-boys independent junior boarding school in the country. There he met and became friends with Richard Pershing, grandson of First World War U.S. Gen. John Joseph Pershing. Former Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy also attended the Fessenden School, although several years prior to Kerry.

The following year, he enrolled at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and graduated from there in 1962. Kerry learned skills in public speaking and began developing interest in politics. In his free time, he enjoyed ice hockey and lacrosse, which he played on teams captained by classmate Robert S. Mueller III, the current director of the FBI. Kerry also played bass guitar for the prep school's band The Electras, which produced an album in 1961. Only five hundred copies were made—one was auctioned on eBay in 2004 for $2,551.

In 1959, Kerry founded the John Winant Society at St. Paul's to debate the issues of the day; the Society still exists there.[11][12] In November 1960, Kerry gave his first political speech, in favor of John F. Kennedy's election to the White House.

In 1962, Kerry was a volunteer for Ted Kennedy's first Senatorial campaign. The summer after his graduation from St. Paul's, he dated Janet Jennings Auchincloss, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's half-sister. Auchincloss invited Kerry to visit her family's estate, Hammersmith Farm, in Rhode Island where Kerry met President John F. Kennedy for the first time.

According to Kerry, when he told the president he was about to enter Yale University, Kennedy grimaced, because he had gone to rival Harvard University. Kerry later recalled, "He smiled at me, laughed and said: 'Oh, don't worry about it. You know I'm a Yale man too now.'" According to Kerry "The President uttered that famous comment about how he had the best of two worlds now: a Harvard education and Yale degree", in reference to the honorary degree he had received from Yale a few months earlier. Later that day, a White House photographer snapped a photo of Kerry sailing with Kennedy and his family in Narragansett Bay.

Yale University

In 1962, Kerry entered Yale University, majoring in political science. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966. Kerry played on the soccer, hockey, lacrosse and fencing teams; in addition, he took flying lessons.[12]

In his sophomore year, Kerry became the Chairman of the Liberal Party of the Yale Political Union, and a year later he served as President of the Union. Amongst his influential teachers in this period was Professor H. Bradford Westerfield, who was himself a former President of the Political Union.[13] His involvement with the Political Union gave him an opportunity to be involved with important issues of the day, such as the civil rights movement and Kennedy's New Frontier program. He was also inducted into the secretive Skull and Bones Society. He also traveled to Switzerland[14] through AIESEC Yale.[15][16]

Under the guidance of the speaking coach and history professor Rollin Osterweis, Kerry won many debates against other college students from across the nation. In March 1965, as the Vietnam War escalated, he won the Ten Eyck prize as the best orator in the junior class for a speech that was critical of U.S. foreign policy. In the speech he said, "It is the spectre of Western imperialism that causes more fear among Africans and Asians than communism, and thus it is self-defeating."[17]

Over four years, Kerry maintained a 76 grade average and received an 81 average in his senior year.[18] Kerry, even then a capable speaker, was chosen to give the class oration at graduation. His speech was a broad criticism of American foreign policy, including the Vietnam War, in which he would soon participate.

Military service (1966–1970)

Duty on the USS Gridley

On February 18, 1966, Kerry enlisted in the Naval Reserve.[19] He began his active duty military service on August 19, 1966. After completing sixteen weeks of Officer Candidate School at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island, Kerry received his officer's commission on December 16, 1966. During the 2004 election, Kerry posted his military records at his website, and permitted reporters to inspect his medical records. In 2005, Kerry released his military and medical records to the representatives of three news organizations, but has not authorized full public access to those records.[20][21]

Kerry's first tour of duty was as an ensign on the guided missile frigate USS Gridley in 1968. The executive officer of the Gridley described the deployment as: "We deployed from San Diego to the Vietnam theatre in early 1968 after only a six-month turnaround, and spent most of a four month deployment on rescue station in the Gulf of Tonkin, standing by to pick up downed aviators."

During his tour on the Gridley, Kerry requested duty in Vietnam, listing as his first preference a position as the commander of a Fast Patrol Craft (PCF), also known as a "Swift boat."[22] These 50-foot (15 m) boats have aluminum hulls and have little or no armor, but are heavily armed and rely on speed. "I didn't really want to get involved in the war", Kerry said in a book of Vietnam reminiscences published in 1986. "When I signed up for the swift boats, they had very little to do with the war. They were engaged in coastal patrolling and that's what I thought I was going to be doing."[23] However, his second choice of billet was on a river patrol boat, or "PBR", which at the time was serving a more dangerous duty on the rivers of Vietnam.[22]

On June 16, 1968, Kerry was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, junior grade. On June 20, 1968, he left the Gridley for Swift boat training at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado.

Swift boat duty

On November 17, 1968, Kerry reported for duty at Coastal Squadron 1 in Cam Ranh Bay in South Vietnam. In his role as an officer in charge of Swift boats, Kerry led five-man crews on a number of patrols into enemy-controlled areas. His first command was Swift boat PCF-44, from December 6, 1968 to January 21, 1969, when the crew was disbanded. They were based at Coastal Division 13 at Cat Lo from December 13, 1968 to January 6, 1969. Otherwise, they were stationed at Coastal Division 11 at An Thoi. On January 30, 1969, Kerry took charge of PCF-94 and its crew, which he led until he departed An Thoi on March 26, 1969, and subsequently the crew was disbanded.[24]

On January 22, 1969, Kerry and several other officers had a meeting in Saigon with Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, the commander of U.S. Naval forces in Vietnam, and U.S. Army General Creighton Abrams, the overall commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam. Kerry and the other officers reported that the "free-fire zone" policy was alienating the Vietnamese and that the Swift boats' actions were not accomplishing their ostensible goal of interdicting Viet Cong supply lines. According to his biographer, Douglas Brinkley, Kerry and the other visiting officers felt their concerns were dismissed with what amounted to a pep talk (Tour of Duty, pp. 254–261).

Military honors

During the night of December 2, 1968 and early morning of December 3, 1968, Kerry was in charge of a small boat operating near a peninsula north of Cam Ranh Bay together with a Swift boat (PCF-60). According to Kerry and the two crewmen who accompanied him that night, Patrick Runyon and William Zaladonis, they surprised a group of men unloading sampans at a river crossing, who began running and failed to obey an order to stop. As the men fled, Kerry and his crew opened fire on the sampans and destroyed them, then rapidly left. During this encounter, Kerry received a minor wound in the left arm above the elbow. It was for this injury that Kerry received his first Purple Heart.[25]

Kerry received his second Purple Heart for a wound received in action on the Bo De River on February 20, 1969. The plan had been for the Swift boats to be accompanied by support helicopters. On the way up the Bo De, however, the helicopters were attacked. They returned to their base to refuel and were unable to return to the mission for several hours.

As the Swift boats reached the Cua Lon River, Kerry's boat was hit by a RPG round, and a piece of shrapnel hit Kerry's left leg, wounding him. Thereafter, they had no more trouble, and reached the Gulf of Thailand safely. Kerry still has shrapnel in his left thigh because the doctors tending to him decided to remove the damaged tissue and close the wound with sutures rather than make a wide opening to remove the shrapnel.[26] Kerry received his second Purple Heart for this injury, but like several others wounded earlier that day, he did not lose any time off from duty.[27][28]

Eight days later, on February 28, 1969, came the events for which Kerry was awarded his Silver Star. On this occasion, Kerry was in tactical command of his Swift boat and two others in an eight boat formation. Their mission on the Duong Keo river included bringing a demolition team and dozens of South Vietnamese Marines to destroy enemy sampans, structures and bunkers as described in the story The Death Of PCF 43.[29] Running into an ambush, Kerry "directed the boats to turn to the beach and charge the Viet Cong positions" and he "expertly directed" his boat's fire and coordinated the deployment of the South Vietnamese troops, according to the original medal citation (signed by Admiral Zumwalt). Going a short distance farther, Kerry's boat was the target of an RPG round; as the boat beached at the site, a VC with a rocket launcher jumped and ran from a spider hole. While the boat's gunner opened fire, wounding the VC on the leg, and while the other boats approached and offered cover fire, Kerry jumped from the boat and chased the VC and killed him, capturing a loaded rocket launcher.[30][31][31]

Kerry's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander George Elliott, joked to Douglas Brinkley in 2003 that he didn't know whether to court-martial Kerry for beaching the boat without orders or give him a medal for saving the crew. Elliott recommended Kerry for the Silver Star, and Zumwalt flew into An Thoi to personally award medals to Kerry and the rest of the sailors involved in the mission. The Navy's account of Kerry's actions is presented in the original medal citation signed by Zumwalt. The engagement was documented in an after-action report, a press release written on March 1, 1969, and a historical summary dated March 17, 1969.[32]

On March 13, 1969, five Swift boats were returning to base together on the Bay Hap river from their missions that day, after a firefight earlier in the day (during which time Kerry received a slight shrapnel wound in the buttocks from blowing up a rice bunker), and debarking some but not all of the passengers at a small village. They approached a fishing weir (a series of poles across the river for hanging nets), so that one group of boats went around left, hugging the shore, and a group with Kerry's 94 boat went around right along the shoreline. A mine was detonated directly beneath the lead boat, PCF-3, as it crossed the weir to the left, lifting PCF-3 completely into the air.[33]

James Rassmann, a Green Beret advisor who was aboard PCF-94, was knocked overboard when, according to witnesses and the documentation of the event, a mine or rocket exploded close to the boat. According to the documentation for the event, Kerry's arm was injured when he was thrown against a bulkhead during the explosion. PCF 94 returned to the scene and Kerry rescued Rassmann from the water. Kerry received the Bronze Star for his actions during this incident; he also received his third Purple Heart.[34]

After the crew of PCF-3 had been rescued, and the most seriously wounded sailors evacuated by two of the PCFs, PCF 94 and another boat remained behind and helped salvage the stricken boat together with a damage-control party that had been immediately dispatched to the scene.

Controversy

As the presidential campaign of 2004 developed, approximately 200 Vietnam veterans formed the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), subsequently renamed Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, which held press conferences, ran ads and endorsed a book questioning Kerry's service record and his military awards.

Return from Vietnam

After Kerry's third qualifying wound, he was entitled per Navy regulations to re-assignment away from combat duties. Navy records show that Kerry's preferred choice for re-assignment was as an aide in Boston, New York or Washington, D.C.[35]

On March 26, 1969, after a final patrol the night before, Kerry was transferred to Cam Ranh Bay to await his orders. He was there for five or six days and left Vietnam in early April. On April 11, 1969, he reported to the Brooklyn-based Atlantic Military Sea Transportation Service, where he would remain on active duty for the following year as a personal aide to an officer, Rear Admiral Walter Schlech. On January 1, 1970 Kerry was temporarily promoted to full Lieutenant.[36] Kerry had agreed to an extension of his active duty obligation from December 1969 to August 1970 in order to perform Swift Boat duty,[37][38] but in January, 1970, he requested early discharge in order to run for Congress the following fall. He was discharged from active duty on March 1, 1970.

John Kerry was on active duty in the United States Navy from August 1966 until January 1970. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve until February 1978. Kerry lost at least five friends in the war including Yale classmate Richard Pershing, who was killed in action on February 17, 1968.

Anti-war activism (1970–1971)

After returning to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). Then numbering about 20,000,[39] VVAW was considered by some (including the administration of President Richard Nixon) to be an effective, if controversial, component of the antiwar movement.[40]

On April 22, 1971, Kerry became the first Vietnam veteran to testify before Congress about the war, when he appeared before a Senate committee hearing on proposals relating to ending the war. He was still a member of the United States Navy Reserve, holding the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Wearing green fatigues and service ribbons, he spoke for nearly two hours with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in what has been named the Fulbright Hearing, after the Chairman of the proceedings, Senator J.W. Fulbright. Kerry began with a prepared speech, in which he presented the conclusions of the Winter Soldier Investigation, and then went on to address larger policy issues.

The day after this testimony, Kerry participated in a demonstration with thousands of other veterans in which he and other veterans threw their medals and ribbons over a fence erected at the front steps of the United States Capitol building to dramatize their opposition to the war. Jack Smith, a Marine, read a statement explaining why the veterans were returning their military awards to the government. For more than two hours, almost 1000 angry veterans tossed their medals, ribbons, hats, jackets, and military papers over the fence. Each veteran gave his or her name, hometown, branch of service and a statement. As Kerry threw his decorations over the fence, his statement was: "I'm not doing this for any violent reasons, but for peace and justice, and to try and make this country wake up once and for all."[41] The documentary film Sir! No Sir! includes archival footage of Kerry at the demonstration: he is one of several young men seen throwing things over the fence.

Media appearances

Because Kerry was a decorated veteran who took a stand against the government's official position, he was frequently interviewed by broadcast and print media. He was able to use these occasions to bring the themes of his Senate testimony to a wider audience.

For example, Kerry appeared more than once on The Dick Cavett Show on ABC television. On one Cavett program (June 30, 1971), in debating John O'Neill, Kerry argued that some of the policies instituted by the U.S. military leaders in Vietnam, such as free-fire zones and burning noncombatants' houses, were contrary to the laws of war. In the Washington Star newspaper (June 6, 1971), he recounted how he and other Swift boat officers had become disillusioned by the contrast between what the leaders told them and what they saw: "That's when I realized I could never remain silent about the realities of the war in Vietnam."

On NBC's Meet The Press in 1971, Kerry was asked whether he had personally committed atrocities in Vietnam. He responded:

"There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 calibre machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals."

Operation POW

Kerry's prominence also made him a frequent leader and spokesman at antiwar events around the country in 1971. One of particular note was Operation POW, organized by the VVAW in Massachusetts. The protest got its name from the group's concern that Americans were prisoners of the Vietnam War, as well as to honor American POWs held captive by North Vietnam.

The event sought to tie antiwar activism to patriotic themes. Over the Memorial Day weekend, veterans and other participants marched from Concord to a rally on Boston Common. The plan was to invoke the spirit of the American Revolution and Paul Revere by spending successive nights at the sites of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill, culminating in a Memorial Day rally with a public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The second night of the march, May 29, 1971, was the occasion for Kerry's only arrest, when the participants tried to camp on the village green in Lexington. At 2:30 a.m. on May 30, 1971, local and state police awoke and arrested 441 demonstrators, including Kerry, for trespassing. All were given the Miranda Warning and were hauled away on school buses to spend the night at the Lexington Public Works Garage. Kerry and the other protesters later paid a $5 fine, and were released. The mass arrests caused a community backlash and ended up giving positive coverage to the VVAW.[42][43][44]

Despite his role in Operation POW and other VVAW events, Kerry eventually quit the organization over leadership differences. Kerry has been criticized regarding VVAW—see John Kerry VVAW controversy for more details.

Early political career (1972–1985)

1972 campaign

In February 1972, after Kerry previously passed on an opportunity to run in another district, his wife, Julia bought a house in Worcester. Residence there would have required Kerry to run for Congress against an incumbent Democrat, Harold D. Donohue. Instead however, the couple rented an apartment in Lowell. The incumbent in that district, F. Bradford Morse, was a Republican who was thought to be retiring.

Counting Kerry, the Democratic primary race in 1972 had 10 candidates. One of these was State Representative Anthony R. DiFruscia of Lawrence. Both Kerry's and DiFuscia's campaign HQs were in the same building. On the eve of the September primary, Kerry's younger brother Cameron and campaign field director Thomas J. Vallely, both then 22 years old, were found by police in the basement of this building, where the telephone lines were located. They were arrested and charged with "breaking and entering with the intent to commit grand larceny", but the case was dismissed about a year later. At the time of the incident, DiFruscia alleged that they were trying to disrupt his get-out-the vote efforts. Vallely and Cameron Kerry maintained that they were only checking their own telephone lines because they had received an anonymous call warning that the Kerry lines would be cut.[45]

Although Kerry's campaign was hurt by the election-day report of the arrest, he still won the primary, narrowly beating state Representative Paul J. Sheehy. DiFruscia placed third. Kerry lost in Lawrence and Lowell, his chief opponents' bases, but placed first in 18 of the district's 22 towns.

In the general election, Kerry was initially favored to defeat the Republican candidate, former state Representative Paul W. Cronin, and an independent, Roger P. Durkin. A major obstacle, however, was the district's leading newspaper, the conservative Sun. The paper editorialized against him. It also ran critical news stories about his out-of-state contributions and his "carpetbagging", because he had moved into the district only in April. Subsequently released "Watergate" Oval Office tape recordings of the Nixon White House showed that defeating Kerry's candidacy had attracted the personal attention of President Nixon.[46]

The final blow came when, four days before the election, Durkin withdrew in favor of Cronin. Cronin won the election, becoming the only Republican to be elected to Congress that November in a district carried by Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern.

District Attorney tenure

After Kerry's 1972 defeat, he and his wife bought a house in Lowell. He spent some time working as a fundraiser for the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), an international humanitarian organization. He decided that the best way for him to continue in public life was to study law[citation needed]. In September 1973, he entered Boston College Law School. In July 1974, while attending law school, Kerry was named executive director of Mass Action, a Massachusetts advocacy association.

He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Boston College in 1976. While in law school he had been a student prosecutor in the office of the District Attorney of Middlesex County, John J. Droney. After passing the bar exam and being admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1976, he went to work in that office as a full-time prosecutor.

In January 1977, Droney promoted him to First Assistant District Attorney. In that position, Kerry had dual roles. First, he tried cases, winning convictions in a high-profile rape case and a murder. Second, he played a role in administering the office of the district attorney by initiating the creation of special white-collar and organized crime units, creating programs to address the problems of rape and other crime victims and of witnesses, and managing trial calendars to reflect case priorities. It was in this role in 1978 that Kerry announced an investigation into possible criminal charges against then Senator Edward Brooke, regarding "misstatements" in his first divorce trial.[47]

Lieutenant Governor tenure

In 1979, Kerry resigned from the District Attorney's office to set up a private law firm with another former prosecutor. And, although his private law practice was a success, Kerry was still interested in public office. He re-entered electoral politics by running for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and won a narrow victory in the 1982 Democratic primary. The ticket, with Michael Dukakis as the gubernatorial candidate, won the general election without difficulty.

The position of Lieutenant Governor carried few inherent responsibilities. Dukakis, however, delegated additional matters to Kerry. In particular, Kerry's interest in environmental protection led him to become heavily involved in the issue of acid rain. His work contributed to a National Governors Association resolution in 1984 that was a precursor to the 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act.

During his campaign, Kerry had argued that nuclear evacuation planning was "a sham intended to deceive Americans into believing they could survive a nuclear war". Once in office, he drafted an Executive Order condemning such planning, which Dukakis signed despite having lost the presidential election.[citation needed]

Election for U.S. Senate

The junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Paul Tsongas, announced in 1984 that he would be stepping down for health reasons. Kerry decided to run for the seat. As in his 1982 race for Lieutenant Governor, he did not receive the endorsement of the party regulars at the state Democratic convention. Again as in 1982, however, he prevailed in a close primary. In his campaign, he promised to mix liberalism with tight budget controls. As the Democratic candidate, he was elected to the Senate despite a nationwide landslide for the re-election of Republican president Ronald Reagan, for whom Massachusetts voted by a narrow margin. In his acceptance speech, Kerry asserted that his win meant that the people of Massachusetts "emphatically reject the politics of selfishness and the notion that women must be treated as second-class citizens." Kerry was sworn in as a U.S. Senator in January 1985.

U.S. Senate tenure (1985–present)

A Senate portrait of Kerry

Iran-Contra hearings

On April 18, 1985, a few months after taking his Senate seat, Kerry and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa traveled to Nicaragua and met the country's president, Daniel Ortega. Though Ortega was democratically elected, the trip was criticized because Ortega and his leftist Sandinista government had strong ties to Cuba and the USSR. The Sandinista government was opposed by the right-wing CIA-backed rebels known as the Contras. While in Nicaragua, Kerry and Harkin talked to people on both sides of the conflict. Through the senators, Ortega offered a cease-fire agreement in exchange for the US dropping support of the Contras. The offer was denounced by the Reagan administration as a "propaganda initiative" designed to influence a House vote on a $14 million Contra aid package, but Kerry said "I am willing ... to take the risk in the effort to put to test the good faith of the Sandinistas." The House voted down the Contra aid, but Ortega flew to Moscow to accept a $200 million loan the next day, which in part prompted the House to pass a larger $27 million aid package six weeks later.[48]

In April 1986, Kerry and Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, proposed that hearings be conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding charges of Contra involvement in cocaine and marijuana trafficking. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Republican chairman of the committee, agreed to conduct the hearings.

Meanwhile, Kerry's staff began their own investigations and, on October 14, issued a report that exposed illegal activities on the part of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who had set up a private network involving the National Security Council and the CIA to deliver military equipment to right-wing Nicaraguan rebels (Contras). In effect, North and certain members of the President's administration were accused by Kerry's report of illegally funding and supplying armed militants without the authorization of Congress. Kerry's staff investigation, based on a year-long inquiry and interviews with fifty unnamed sources, is said to raise "serious questions about whether the United States has abided by the law in its handling of the contras over the past three years."[49]

The Kerry Committee report found that "the Contra drug links included ... payments to drug traffickers by the U.S. State Department of funds authorized by the Congress for humanitarian assistance to the Contras, in some cases after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies."[50] The US State Department paid over $806,000 to known drug traffickers to carry humanitarian assistance to the Contras.[51] Kerry's findings provoked little reaction in the media and official Washington.[52]

The Kerry report was a precursor to the Iran-Contra affair. On May 4, 1989, North was convicted of charges relating to the Iran/Contra controversy, including three felonies. On September 16, 1991, however, North's convictions were overturned on appeal.[53]

George H.W. Bush administration

On November 15, 1988, at a businessmen's breakfast in East Lynn, Massachusetts, Kerry made a joke about then President-elect George H.W. Bush and his running mate, saying "if Bush is shot, the Secret Service has orders to shoot Dan Quayle." He apologized the following day.[54]

During their investigation of Noriega, Kerry's staff found reason to believe that the Pakistan-based Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) had facilitated Noriega's drug trafficking and money laundering. This led to a separate inquiry into BCCI, and as a result, banking regulators shut down BCCI in 1991. In December 1992, Kerry and Senator Hank Brown, a Republican from Colorado, released The BCCI Affair, a report on the BCCI scandal. The report showed that the bank was crooked and was working with terrorists, including Abu Nidal. It blasted the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the Customs Service, the Federal Reserve Bank, as well as influential lobbyists and the CIA.[55]

Kerry was criticized by some Democrats for having pursued his own party members, including former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, although Republicans said he should have pressed against some Democrats even harder. The BCCI scandal was later turned over to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.[56]

Precursors to presidential bid

In 1996, Kerry faced a difficult re-election fight against Governor William Weld, a popular Republican incumbent who had been re-elected in 1994 with 71% of the vote. The race was covered nationwide as one of the most closely watched Senate races that year. Kerry and Weld held several debates and negotiated a campaign spending cap of $6.9 million at Kerry's Beacon Hill mansion. Both candidates spent more than the cap, with each camp accusing the other of being first to break the agreement.[57] There is no evidence that this led to Kerry's win in a very close race but it is more than possible that this contributed to his victory.[58] During the campaign, Kerry spoke briefly at the 1996 Democratic National Convention. Senator Kerry won re-election with 53 percent to Weld's 45 percent. According to Newsweek, during the 2004 presidential election, Weld was interviewed by Karl Rove, Karen Hughes and other senior members of the Bush campaign on debating and running against Kerry.[citation needed]

In the 2000 presidential election, Kerry again found himself close to being chosen as the vice presidential running mate.[59]

A release from the presidential campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Al Gore listed Kerry on the short list to be selected as the vice-presidential nominee, along with North Carolina Senator John Edwards, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt, New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. Gore eventually selected Lieberman as the nominee, but Kerry continued to campaign on behalf of the Gore-Lieberman campaign through Election Day.

Voting record

Overall

Most analyses place Kerry's voting record on the left within the Senate Democratic caucus.[60] During the 2004 presidential election he was portrayed as a staunch liberal by conservative special interest groups and the Bush campaign, who often noted that in 2003 Kerry was rated the National Journal's top Senate liberal. However, that rating was based only upon voting on legislation within that past year. In fact, in terms of career voting records, the National Journal found that Kerry is the 11th most liberal member of the Senate. Most analyses find that Kerry is at least slightly more liberal than the typical Democratic Senator. For example, Keith T. Poole of the University of Houston found that Kerry was tied for being the 24th most liberal Senator.[citation needed] Kerry has stated that he opposes privatizing Social Security, supports abortion rights for adult women and minors, supports civil unions for same-sex couples, opposes capital punishment except for terrorists, supports most gun control laws, and is generally a supporter of trade agreements. Kerry supported the North American Free Trade Agreement and Most Favored Nation status for China, but opposed the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

In July 1997 Kerry joined his Senate colleagues in voting against ratification of the Kyoto Treaty on global warming without greenhouse gas emissions limits on nations deemed developing, including India and China.[61] Since then, Kerry has attacked President Bush, charging him with opposition to international efforts to combat global warming.[62]

On October 1, 2008, Kerry voted for S. Amdt. 5685 to H.R. 1424, also known as the "bailout bill."[63]

Iraq

In 1991, during the debate before the Gulf War, Kerry initially opposed the immediate use of military force to expel Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait. The United Nations had imposed sanctions on Iraq, and Kerry argued that the sanctions then in place should be given more time to work.

On December 14, 2001, 3 months after the attacks of 9/11, Kerry said on Larry King Live that "I think we clearly have to keep the pressure on terrorism globally. This doesn't end with Afghanistan by any imagination. And I think the president has made that clear. I think we have made that clear. Terrorism is a global menace. It's a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue against, for instance, Saddam Hussein."

More recently, Kerry said on October 9, 2002; "I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." Bush relied on that resolution in ordering the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Kerry also gave a January 23, 2003 speech to Georgetown University saying "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator; leading an oppressive regime he presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." Kerry did, however, warn that the administration should exhaust its diplomatic avenues before launching war: "Mr. President, do not rush to war, take the time to build the coalition, because it's not winning the war that's hard, it's winning the peace that's hard."[64]

After the invasion of Iraq, when no weapons of mass destruction were found, Kerry strongly criticized Bush, contending that he had misled the country: "When the President of the United States looks at you and tells you something, there should be some trust."[65]

Kerry had spoken before the war about the sorts of weapons many believed Saddam Hussein had. On the Senate floor on October 9, 2002, he said that "According to the CIA's report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons."

Leadership

During his Senate career, Kerry has sponsored or cosponsored dozens of bills. Some of his notable bills have addressed small business concerns, education, terrorism, veterans' and Vietnam War POW/MIA issues, marine resource protection and other topics. Of those bills with his sponsorship, as of December 2004, 11 have been signed into law.

Kerry chaired the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs from 1991 to 1993. The committee's report, which Kerry endorsed, stated there was "no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia."[66] In 1994 the Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Kerry and fellow Vietnam veteran John McCain, that called for an end to the existing trade embargo against Vietnam; it was intended to pave the way for normalization.[67] In 1995, President Bill Clinton normalized diplomatic relations with the country of Vietnam.[68] His long-time senior Senate staff includes Chief of Staff David "Mac" McKean and Legislative Director George Abar.

Kerry was the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 1987 to 1989. He was reelected to the Senate in 1990, 1996 (after winning re-election against the then-Governor of Massachusetts Republican William Weld), 2002, and 2008. In January 2009, Kerry replaced Joe Biden as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.[1]

Committees

As of 2009, Kerry serves on four Senate committees and nine subcommittees:

Seniority

As of 2009, Kerry ranked 13 among 99 Senators by seniority. However, he was the junior Senator from his state due to longevity of Ted Kennedy's service. In the 111th Congress, Kerry was the most senior junior Senator. On Tuesday, August 25, 2009, Kerry became the senior senator from Massachusetts following Ted Kennedy's death.

2004 presidential campaign

Kerry and Teresa Heinz crossing Lake Michigan on the Lake Express during the 2004 campaign
Kerry/Edwards campaign logo
Kerry on the campaign trail in Rochester, Minnesota

In the 2004 Democratic Presidential primaries, John Kerry defeated several Democratic rivals, including Sen. John Edwards (D-North Carolina.), former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and retired Army General Wesley Clark. His victory in the Iowa caucuses is widely believed to be the tipping point where Kerry revived his sagging campaign in New Hampshire and the February 3, 2004, primary states like Arizona, South Carolina and New Mexico. Kerry then went on to win landslide victories in Nevada and Wisconsin. Kerry thus won the Democratic nomination to run for President of the United States against incumbent George W. Bush. On July 6, 2004, he announced his selection of John Edwards as his running mate. Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, who was Kerry's 2004 campaign adviser, wrote an article in Time magazine claiming that after the election, Kerry had said that he wished he'd never picked Edwards, and that the two have since stopped speaking to each other.[69] In a subsequent appearance on ABC's This Week, Kerry refused to respond to Shrum's allegation, calling it a "ridiculous waste of time."[70]

On November 3, 2004, Kerry conceded the race. Kerry won 59.03 million votes, or 48.3 percent of the popular vote; Bush won 62.04 million votes, or 50.7 percent of the popular vote. Kerry carried states with a total of 252 electoral votes. One Kerry elector voted for Kerry's running mate, Edwards, so in the final tally Kerry had 251 electoral votes to Bush's 286. Although, as in the previous election, there were disputes about the voting, no state was as close as Florida had been in 2000 (see 2004 United States presidential election controversy and irregularities).

Post-presidential activities

2008 presidential election

Immediately after the 2004 election, some Democrats mentioned Kerry as a possible contender for the 2008 Democratic nomination. His brother had said such a campaign was "conceivable", and Kerry himself reportedly said at a farewell party for his 2004 campaign staff, "There's always another four years."[71]

Kerry established a separate political action committee, Keeping America's Promise,[72] that raised money and channeled contributions to Democratic candidates in state and federal races.[73] Through Keeping America's Promise in 2005, Kerry raised over $5.5 million for other Democrats up and down the ballot. Through his campaign account and his political action committee, the Kerry campaign operation generated more than $10 million for various party committees and 179 candidates for the US House, Senate, state and local offices in 42 states focusing on the midterm elections during the 2006 election cycle.[74] "Cumulatively, John Kerry has done as much if not more than any other individual senator", Hassan Nemazee, the national finance chairman of the DSCC said.[75]

Kerry speaks during the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

On January 10, 2008, Kerry endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama for President.[76] He was mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential candidate for Senator Obama, although fellow Senator Joe Biden was eventually chosen. After Biden's acceptance of the vice presidential nomination, speculation arose that John Kerry would be a candidate for Secretary of State in the Obama administration.[77] However, Senator Hillary Clinton was offered the position.[78]

Controversial comments

On October 30, 2006, Kerry was a headline speaker at a campaign rally being held for Democratic California gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California. Speaking to an audience composed mainly of college students, Kerry said, "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."[79] Kerry said that he had intended the remark as a jab at President Bush, and described the remarks as a "botched joke",[80] but he had inadvertently left out the key word "us" (which would have been, "If you don't, you get us stuck in Iraq"). In Kerry's prepared remarks, which were released during the ensuing media frenzy, the corresponding line was "... you end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush." It was also clear from the context of the speech which, prior to the "stuck in Iraq" line, made several specific references to Bush and elements of his biography, that Kerry was referring to President Bush and not American troops in general. However, most news outlets covering the controversy did not mention or report these contextual comments, making it seem as if Kerry was referring to American soldiers in general.[81]

The day after the remarks were made public, leaders from both sides of the political spectrum, including Republicans President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain and then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, said that Kerry's comments were insulting to American military forces fighting in Iraq. Democratic Representative Harold Ford, Jr. called on Kerry to apologize and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Bob Casey, Jr. canceled an appearance with Kerry.

Kerry initially stated: "Let me make it crystal clear, as crystal clear as I know how. I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy."[82] Kerry also responded to criticism from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.[83] However, after two days of media coverage, citing a desire not to be a diversion, Kerry apologized to those who took offense at what he called the misinterpretation of his comment.[84]

Climate change

Kerry said in Bali an administration run by the Democrats would mean the difference between night and day on policies to fight global warming and the Democrats would, unlike Bush, back mandatory emissions targets and pass a bill to create a cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide emissions.[85]

GI Bill support

Kerry has teamed up with Congressman Peter T. King to help sponsor a new GI Bill to help give incentives for military personnel.[86]

Ted Kennedy funeral

Kerry served as an honorary pallbearer for the late former Senator Ted Kennedy.[87]

Personal life

John Kerry

Kerry is 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m),[88] enjoys surfing and windsurfing, as well as ice hockey, hunting and playing bass guitar. According to an interview he gave to Rolling Stone magazine in 2004, Kerry's favorite album is Abbey Road and he is a fan of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Buffett. He also mentioned that he never liked heavy metal.[89] During his 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry used Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender" as one of his campaign songs. Later he would adopt U2's "Beautiful Day" as his official campaign song.

Kerry is described by Sports Illustrated, among others, as an "avid cyclist",[90][91] primarily riding on a road bike. Prior to his Presidential bid, Kerry was known to have participated in several long-distance rides (centuries). Even during his many campaigns, he was reported to have visited bicycle stores both in his home state and elsewhere. His staff requested recumbent stationary bikes for his hotel rooms.[92]

Kerry appeared in a cameo as himself on the April 30, 1992 episode of the hit television sitcom Cheers, in the episode, "Bar Wars VI: This Time It's For Real."

In 2003, Kerry was diagnosed with and successfully treated for prostate cancer.[93]

Family

Kerry was married to Julia Thorne in 1970, and they had two daughters together: Alexandra and Vanessa. Alexandra was born on September 5, 1973, days before Kerry began law school. A graduate of Brown University, she received her M.F.A. in June 2004 from the AFI Conservatory. She is a documentary filmmaker. Vanessa was born on December 31, 1976. She is a graduate of Phillips Academy (like her grandfather) and Yale University, and attended Harvard Medical School and a master's program in health policy at the London School of Economics. Both daughters were active in their father's 2004 Presidential campaign.

In 1982 Thorne, who was suffering from severe depression, asked Kerry for a separation.[94] They were divorced on July 25, 1988, and the marriage was formally annulled in 1997. "After 14 years as a political wife, I associated politics only with anger, fear and loneliness" she wrote in A Change of Heart, her book about depression. Thorne later married Richard Charlesworth, an architect, and moved to Bozeman, Montana, where she became active in local environmental groups such as the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Thorne supported Kerry's 2004 presidential run. She died of cancer on April 27, 2006.

Kerry and his second wife, Teresa Simões-Ferreira Heinz, the widow of Pennsylvania Senator H. John Heinz III, a Republican, and former United Nations interpreter were introduced to each other by John Heinz at an Earth Day rally in 1990. They did not meet again until after John Heinz's death, at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. They married on May 26, 1995, in Nantucket. John Kerry's stepsons – Teresa's three sons from her previous marriage – are H. John Heinz IV, André Heinz and Christopher Heinz, who married Alexandra DeRuyter Lewis on February 10, 2007.

The Forbes 400 survey estimated in 2004 that Teresa Heinz Kerry had a net worth of $750 million. However, estimates have frequently varied, ranging from around $165 million to as high as $3.2 billion, according to a study in the Los Angeles Times. Regardless of which figure is correct, Kerry is the wealthiest U.S. Senator. Kerry is wealthy in his own name, and is the beneficiary of at least four trusts inherited from Forbes family members, including his mother, who died in 2002. Forbes magazine (a major business magazine named for an unrelated Forbes family) estimated that if elected, Kerry would have been the third-richest U.S. President in history when adjusted for inflation.[95] This assessment was based on the couple's combined assets, but Kerry and Heinz signed a prenuptial agreement that keeps their assets separate.[96] Kerry's financial disclosure form for 2002 put his personal assets in the range of $409,000 to $1.8 million, with additional assets held jointly by Kerry and his wife in the range of $300,000 to $600,000.[97]

Religious beliefs

Congressional portrait with U.S. flag in the background

A Roman Catholic, Kerry was said to carry a rosary, a prayer book, and a St. Christopher medal (the patron saint of travelers) when he campaigned. However, while Kerry is personally against abortion, he supports a woman's legal right to have one, which puts him at odds with the Catholic Church. Similar tension exists between the Church and several other Catholic national political figures, including Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Ridge, Tom Vilsack (one of his possible vice-presidential choices in the 2004 election), Joe Biden, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Discussing his faith, Kerry said, "I thought of being a priest. I was very religious while at school in Switzerland. I was an altar boy and prayed all the time. I was very centered around the Mass and the church." He also said that the Letters of Paul moved him the most, stating that they taught him to "not feel sorry for myself."[98]

According to Christianity Today, Kerry remarks about his faith:

I'm a Catholic and I practice, but at the same time I have an open-mindedness to many other expressions of spirituality that come through different religions. ... I've spent some time reading and thinking about [religion] and trying to study it, and I've arrived at not so much a sense of the differences, but a sense of the similarities in so many ways; the value-system roots and linkages between the Torah, the Qur'an, and the Bible and the fundamental story that runs through all of this, that ... really connects all of us.[99]

Electoral history

See also

References

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  62. ^ "Kerry says U.S. 'a sort of international pariah'". USA TODAY. 2007-01-27. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-01-27-kerry-us-policy_x.htm?csp=34. 
  63. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Senate.gov. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00212. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  64. ^ "Kerry Makes It Official". CBS. 2003-09-02. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/02/politics/main571162.shtml. 
  65. ^ "Bush defends Iraq war in face of WMD findings". CNN. 2004-01-28. http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/01/27/sprj.nirq.bush/. 
  66. ^ "Report of the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs". U.S. Senate. 1993-01-13. http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1993_rpt/pow-exec.html. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  67. ^ Greenhouse, Steven (1994-01-28). "Senate Urges End to U.S. Embargo Against Vietnam". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A02E3DC1639F93BA15752C0A962958260. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  68. ^ Walsh, James (1995-07-24). "Good Morning, Vietnam". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983202,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  69. ^ Shrum, Robert (2007-05-30). "Kerry's Regrets About John Edwards". Time.com. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1626498-2,00.html. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  70. ^ "Kerry Disregards Bob Shrum Book: "Ridiculous Waste Of Time"". Huffingtonpost.com. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/13/kerry-disregards-bob-shru_n_81260.html. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  71. ^ Johnson, Glen (2004-11-09). "Kerry run in '08 called conceivable". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/11/09/kerry_run_in_08_called_conceivable/. 
  72. ^ "Keeping America's Promise". Keepingamericaspromise.com. 2007-07-05. http://www.keepingamericaspromise.com/. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  73. ^ Johnson, Glen (2004-12-05). "Kerry creates PAC to back candidates". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/12/05/kerry_creates_pac_to_back_candidates/. 
  74. ^ Mooney, Brain C. (2006-10-09). "Kerry's barnstorming sparks talk of a run". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/10/09/kerrys_barnstorming_sparks_talk_of_a_run/. 
  75. ^ Klein, Rick; Kranish, Michael (2006-10-21). "Kerry is pressured to share campaign wealth". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/10/21/kerry_is_pressured_to_share_campaign_wealth/?page=2. 
  76. ^ "Kerry endorses Obama over '04 running mate". CNN.com. 2008-01-10. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/10/kerry.obama/index.html. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  77. ^ Hosenball, Mark (2008-06-23). "A Bid for an Obama Cabinet". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/141512. 
  78. ^ November 21, 2008  (2008-11-21). "Hillary Clinton reportedly accepts Barack Obama's Cabinet offer | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/11/hillary-clint-3.html. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  79. ^ Ryan, Andrew (October 31, 2006). "Kerry says he "botched joke" and lashes out at GOP". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/breaking_news/2006/10/kerry_says_he_b.html. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  80. ^ Sandalow, Marc (November 2, 2006). "'Botched joke' feeds a frenzy among Dems, GOP and media". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/11/02/KERRY.TMP. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  81. ^ Zernike, Kate (November 1, 2006). "Flubbed Joke Makes Kerry a Political Punching Bag, Again". The New York Times. 
  82. ^ Loven, Jennifer (November 1, 2006). "Some Democrats join Republicans in pressing Kerry for apology". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/nation/4302629.html. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  83. ^ "Statement of John Kerry Responding to Republican Distortions, Pathetic Tony Snow Diversions and Distractions". Friends of John Kerry. October 31, 2006. http://www.johnkerry.com/news/releases/release.html?id=33. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  84. ^ Stout, David (November 1, 2006). "Kerry Apologizes for Iraq Remark". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/01/washington/01cnd-kerry.html?ex=1320037200&en=d68aa8623d11759b&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  85. ^ "UN Climate Talks Under Pressure to Drop 2020 Goals". Planet Ark. 2007-12-11. http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/45906/story.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  86. ^ Bill O'Reilly. "Helping our veterans with a new G.I. Bill". http://billoreilly.com/show;jsessionid=3ED799094806583805B8631AAD355689?action=viewRadioShow&showID=1729. 
  87. ^ Honorary pall bearers to greet Kennedy family outside Basilica, retrieved on 2009-11-04.
  88. ^ Nagourney, Adam (2002-12-09). "Antiwar Veteran Eager for Battle". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/09/politics/campaigns/09KERR.html. 
  89. ^ Wenner, Jann S. (2004-11-11). "John Kerry". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6562106/john_kerry. 
  90. ^ Maloney, Tim (2005-07-24). "Kerry Au Tour". http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/tour05/news/?id=/news/2005/jul05/jul24news2. 
  91. ^ "Politics? Armstrong has Kerry's vote ... maybe". 2005-07-23. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/more/specials/tour_de_france/2005/07/23/bc.cyc.tourdefrance.not.ap/. 
  92. ^ "JK hotel needs". http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0327061kerry2.html. 
  93. ^ "Sen. Kerry 's Surgery A Success". CBS. 2003-02-11. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/11/politics/main540196.shtml. 
  94. ^ "News & Politics". washingtonian.com. 2007-05-03. http://www.washingtonian.com/people/madame_ex.html. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  95. ^ Ackman, Dan (2004-10-29). "Kerry Would Be Third-Richest U.S. President If Elected". Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/2004/02/13/cx_da_0213kerry.html. 
  96. ^ "What is George W. Bush's net worth vs. John Kerry's net worth?". Ask Yahoo!. 2004-08-23. http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20040823.html. 
  97. ^ Healy, Patrick (2003-12-19). "Kerry mortgage to help fund race". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/12/19/kerry_mortgage_to_help_fund_race/. 
  98. ^ Caldwell, Deborah. "John Kerry's Spiritual Biography". http://www.beliefnet.com/story/150/story_15043_1.html. 
  99. ^ Stricherz, Mark (2004-10-01). "John Kerry's Open Mind". Christianity Today. http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/2004/october/20.28.html. 
  100. ^ Kerry, John. "Diaries". Daily Kos. http://www.dailykos.com/user/John%20Kerry/diary. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 

External links and references

Official

Media

Information

Further reading

  • Brinkley, Douglas, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, William Morrow & Company, 2004. ISBN 0-06-056523-3
  • Kerry, John and Vietnam Veterans Against the War, The New Soldier, MacMillan Publishing Company, 1971. ISBN 0-02-073610-X
  • Kerry, John, The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America's Security, Simon & Schuster, 1997. ISBN 0-684-81815-9
  • Kerry, John, A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America, Viking Press, 2003. ISBN 0-670-03260-3
  • Kerry, John and Teresa Heinz Kerry, This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future, PublicAffairs, 2007. ISBN 978-1-586-48431-6
  • Kranish, Michael, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton. John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, PublicAffairs, 2004. ISBN 1-58648-273-4
  • McMahon, Kevin, David Rankin, Donald W. Beachler and John Kenneth White. Winning the White House, 2004, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. ISBN 1-4039-6881-0
  • O'Neill, John E. & Corsi, Jerome R. Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, Regnery Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-89526-017-4
United States Senate
Preceded by
Paul Tsongas
United States Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
January 2, 1985 – present
Served alongside: Ted Kennedy, Paul G. Kirk, Scott Brown
Incumbent
Political offices
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Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
Served under: Michael Dukakis

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Elected in the 1986 Massachusetts Gubernatorial Election
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RMissouri
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January 3, 2001–January 20, 2001
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Kit Bond
RMissouri
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RMaine
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DDelaware
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Incumbent
Party political offices
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Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Massachusetts
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Most Recent Nominee
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Maine
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Al Gore
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2004
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Jeff Bingaman
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13th
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DIowa

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943), politician, Massachusetts Senator, Democratic Party's nominee for President in 2004, son of Richard John Kerry and Rosemary Isabel Forbes, husband of Teresa Heinz Kerry

Contents

Sourced

  • We feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country. ... And we cannot consider ourselves America's best men when we are ashamed of and hated what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia.
  • There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50-caliber machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant [William] Calley, are war criminals.
  • We must recognize that there is no indication that Saddam Hussein has any intention of relenting. So we have an obligation of enormous consequence, an obligation to guarantee that Saddam Hussein cannot ignore the United Nations. He cannot be permitted to go unobserved and unimpeded toward his horrific objective of amassing a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
    • Speech to the floor of the Senate, Congressional Record, November 9, 1997 [1]
  • If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act.
    • New York Times op-ed, September 6, 2002 [2]
  • If you don't believe...Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me.
    • usatoday.com, February 11, 2003 [3]
  • I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.
    • Democratic Presidential Debate May 13, 2003 [4]
  • I voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. I knew we had to hold him accountable. There's never been a doubt about that. But I also know that if we had done this with a sufficient number of troops, if we had done this in a globalized way, if we had brought more people to the table, we might have caught Saddam Hussein sooner. We might have had less loss of life. We would be in a stronger position today with respect to what we're doing.
    • 14 December 2003, Fox News Sunday
  • We're going to keep pounding. These guys [Bush Administration] are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen. It's scary.
    • Kerry uttered these words, not knowing there was a microphone recording it March 12, 2004
  • I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.
    • San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2004 pE2
  • America must always be the world's paramount military power, but we can magnify our power through alliances.
    • May 27, 2004 [5]
  • I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty.
    • Acceptance Speech at Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2004 [6]
  • It's the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Sept 6, 2004 [7]
  • There is some schedule showing what you (need) to do to get Iraqis standing up and defending themselves which is now suddenly beginning to happen, so there are some signs of progress.
    • September 27, 2005 [8]
  • We're here to talk about education. But I want to say something before that....You know, education, if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
  • I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium.
  • KERRY: I have had conversations with leaders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Recently?
KERRY: Yes, recently.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How recent?
KERRY: That‘s not your business. It‘s mine. Are you a Democrat, a Republican? What are you? Are you a registered Republican?
(CROSSTALK)
KERRY: Are you a Republican? You answer the question. Did you vote for George Bush? Did you vote for George Bush?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted for George Bush and I...
KERRY: Thank you.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE sits while booed by crowd)

Unsourced

  • Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war".
  • If [George H.W.] Bush is shot, the Secret Service has orders to shoot Dan Quayle.
    • Joke, businessmen's breakfast in East Lynn, Massachusetts, November 15, 1988
  • I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.
    • Senate debate on using military force against Iraq, October 9, 2002
  • What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States.
    • Boston Globe, April 3, 2003
  • I have always fought for the right of people to be able to be treated equally in America. Long before there was a television show or a march in Washington. In 1985, I was the sole sponsor of the Civil Rights Act to make sure we enforced that in America. I am for partnership rights. I am for civil union. I am for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I am for the hate crimes legislation.
    • November 5, 2003
  • I think we can reduce the size of Washington. Get rid of the Energy Department. Get rid of the Agriculture Department, or at least render it three-quarters the size it is today; there are more agriculture bureaucrats than there are farmers in this country.
    • Washington Times, Jan 16, 2004
  • I oppose the death penalty other than in cases of real international and domestic terrorism.
    • Associated Press policy Q&A January 25, 2004
  • Our country is defined by the rights we protect, and those of us who fought for freedom and put our lives on the line defended the right of people to do things that we disagree with. I would not be pleased to see someone burning the flag because I love the flag, but the Constitution that I fought for preserves the right of free expression.
    • January 25, 2004
  • I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war.
    • Acceptance Speech at Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2004
  • The United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.
    • Acceptance Speech at Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2004
  • The future doesn't belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.
    • Acceptance Speech at Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2004
  • I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side.
    • Acceptance Speech at Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2004
  • I think I know what happens.
    • On the question why he won't watch "Inside the Bubble", a documentary about his failure in 2004 presidential run
    • TIME Europe, October 24, 2005

Quotes about Kerry

  • Lt. Kerry's devotion to duty, courage under fire, outstanding leadership, and exemplary professionalism directly contributed to the success of this operation and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Unites States Naval Service.
    • Admiral Zumwalt (Commander U. S. Naval Forces, Vietnam) in Kerry's Silver Star citation (Wikisource)
  • "Lt. Kerry's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the US Naval Service.
    • Admiral Zumwalt, in Kerry's Bronze Star citation

Attributed

  • From the moment I take office, I will stand up to the special interests and stand with hardworking families so that we can give America back its future and its ideals.
  • George Bush's vision does not live up to the America I enlisted in the Navy to defend, the America I have fought for in the Senate, and the America that I hope to lead as president.
  • George W. Bush. The "W" stands for "wrong".
  • I did my best to express my vision and my hopes for America. We worked hard and we fought hard, and I wish that things had turned out a little differently. But in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans.
  • I don't think losing 3 million jobs, having deficits as far as the eye can go, having 2 million people lose their health insurance, turning your back on kids in schools and not funding No Child Left Behind represents a vision.
    • In reference to George W. Bush's domestic policies
  • I look forward to standing up and holding George Bush accountable for pushing seniors off of Medicare into HMOs.
  • I promise just to serve two terms. Republicans do it differently. They just have the son repeat the father's whole first term.
  • I will never conduct a war or start a war because we want to; the United States of America should only go to war because we have to. And if you live by that guidance, you'll never have veterans throwing away their medals or standing up in protest.
  • No one is going to question my commitment to the defence of our nation. I don't know what it is these Republicans, who didn't serve in any war, have against those of us who are Democrats who did.
  • There the Bush Administration has offered only a merry-go-round policy. They got up on their high horse, whooped and hollered, rode around in circles and ended right back where they'd started.
  • This president has created an economy that feeds the special interests, the powerful and the corporate power, and he has not helped the average American worker advance their cause. I will.
  • We need a new approach to national security. A bold, progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the Bush Administration.
  • When will this government admit that I was wrong — I mean that they were wrong.

Misattributed

  • Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works written by or about:

Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Wikipedia has a page called:
John Kerry may refer to:

Comparison


This article uses material from the "John Kerry" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English


John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943[1]) is a Senator from Massachusetts and the Democratic nominee for President in 2004. He lost to George W. Bush. He has served in the senate for 23 years and has also served as the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis. Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz-Kerry.

Campaign for President

Kerry's vice presidential candidate was John Edwards. The ticket lost the election to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. One of the reasons Kerry lost is because people said he was an elitist (he did not understand most Americans) and also because a group called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" attacked his service in Vietnam.

References








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