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WP: John Kerry "perfectly happy" in the Senate fulfilling a "lifelong dream" being SFRC chairman

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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:18 PM
Original message
WP: John Kerry "perfectly happy" in the Senate fulfilling a "lifelong dream" being SFRC chairman
Okay, I think this finally, finally puts all the gossip to rest. This little blurb at The Fix gets it right IMO. Kerry would have loved being SoS, but is also very happy being in the Senate. As in, he always had two great options.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/12/out_of_...

John Kerry: It's no secret that Kerry, the party's 2004 presidential nominee, would have liked to be secretary of State. With that post going to Hillary Rodham Clinton, however, it appears that Kerry will spend the rest of his political life in the Senate. Those familiar with his thinking insist Kerry is perfectly happy in the Senate particularly given that he will assume the chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee at the start of the 111th Congress -- a lifelong dream. (Kerry famously testified before the committee in April 1971.)


Chris links to that testimony Kerry gave so long ago. It still gives me the chills reading it, and I think shows how important Kerry taking the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009 (38 years later) is:

Mr. Kerry: Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to dies so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."

We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

...

We are also here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We are here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatric and so many others. Where are they now that we, the men whom they sent off to war, have returned? These are commanders who have deserted their troops, and there is no more serious crime in the law of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded.

The Marines say they never leave even their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They have left the real stuff of their reputation bleaching behind them in the sun in this country.

...

Finally, this administration has done us the ultimate dishonor. They have attempted to disown us and the sacrifice we made for this country. In their blindness and fear they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served in Nam. We do not need their testimony. Our own scars and stumps of limbs are witnesses enough for others and for ourselves.

We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission, to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbarous war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and the fear that have driven this country these last 10 years and more and so when, in 30 years from now, our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory but mean instead the pace where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kerry's speech was and is awesome
As head of the SFRC, he can be an independent voice fighting to back or help push Obama, if that is needed, to finally make the turn he spoke of so long ago.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Right. As Kerry said a week ago, his committee will work WITH the Obama Administration
not FOR the Obama Administration. This is vital. We need the separation of powers back.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kerry will be Barack's top Senate ally in winding up the Iraq war and won't that be satisfying?
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 04:38 PM by ClarkUSA
He must feel bad about voting for IWR... now it's his chance to right that wrong with his good buddy the President at his side.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Oh, definitely. Plus Kerry is the one who came up with the Iraq withdrawal plan
that Obama ran on. It was first the Kerry/Feingold amendment in June 2006.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Obama and Biden both know Kerry can craft excellent legislation on global matters - few can.
Kerry was always far too important a figure for the senate on foreign affairs AND environment to end up in the cabinet.

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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. and to add to Beachmom's response
both Obama and Hillary voted against it in the summer of '06.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yep. Once the Iraq Study Group endorsed key parts of the K/F amendment, however,
Obama reconsidered, then took the plan, tweaked it, and put it in his platform.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Obama ran on a variation of Kerry/Feingold
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 06:30 PM by karynnj
In fact every Democrat except Lieberman and some Republicans back plans that are variations of Kerry/Feingold. He has already been the leader on getting out for 4 years. The Democratic leadership did not want any real plan in 2006 and they vilified Kerry for forcing the issue. After the 2006 elections, it was clear that a majority of Americans - and a huge majority favored a plan with a deadline, Obama and Hillary both moved to plans like Kerry's. (Both Hillary and Obama took the politically safer route and voted against Kerry/Feingold and spoke very negatively of its provisions.) Obama was not accurate when he said on MTP that he was for (his plan) when it wasn't popular. He did move to it until early 2007 - about a month before HRC.

In addition, Kerry spoke against the invasion before it happened. I would think that he has already more than made up for a vote made in good faith. I am sure that Kerry will be very happy when the country starts to end that disaster. When it happens, Kerry will deserve credit for having proposed the plan - that Senator Warner then called "thoughtful" but not the right time - that will be the basis of what they do - but he may not get it. He, however, will know.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. Back in 2006 the Clinton-Lieberman wing wanted Kerry and his Iraq withdrawal plan to disappear
and blamed that bill for Lieberman's primary loss to Lamont.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Disgusting attack. Nice right wing talking point.
The point of that ceremony was to throw something over the fence that was given to you by the military. It didn't have to be a medal. John Kerry never lied about that.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Thanks, Rush.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Did you get that from Free Republic?
Kerry organized the entire DC event. He, himself was initially against the idea of throwing medals and other awards. He left his medals in Massachusetts. At the conclusion of that intense emotional few days, Kerry was there, as he was at everything, and he as the organizer was the last person to do anything. He had been given medals by some others who could not throw them and threw them for them at their request. He also took the ribbons, representing his medals, and added them. It was all very public and well covered. The Boston Globe reporter who was with him through that entire event wrote that he did precisely that.

He has consistently explained that since the 1980s. (There were 1970 era interviews where he was accused of throwing his medals and he simply defended the action - rather than arguing that he only threw the ribbons that represented the medals - which would have sounded defensive as if saying it was wrong to throw the medals and he did less.)

Do you think it was wrong that Kerry stood against a paranoid Nixon and told the truth about the war? Read the full statement that the OP links to. Would you have had the guts, not to mention the eloquence and brilliance to right and give that speech? There is a picture of Kerry after the medals were thrown taken by a photographer, Richard Butler, who was a close friend of Kerry's. It is taken at a great distance and he was sitting on the ground with his wife beside him clearly emotional about the significance of the whole event.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. I keep trying to find that picture.
I've seen it posted here before and it's very searing.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Here you go:
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Here:
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 09:22 PM by LittleClarkie


On edit: oops! Shoulda looked first.
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Welcome to DU. n/t
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
11. I think Kerry's more valuble in the
Senate and he knows this as well as anyone else who is strategically placing these invaluble people for the admin.
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
14. And Kerry is still fighting to turn America...
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 06:30 PM by YvonneCa
...away from the blindness that lead us into a war like Viet Nam. Like Iraq. His words: "....the place where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning" were meant to describe Viet Nam. But since so many failed to learn those lessons back then and even REPEATED some of the same mistakes in Iraq, they are very poignant now.

Because of Kerry's unwavering, relentless efforts, the country is finally awake. The country, which many agree has been on the wrong track for a while now, is finally turning. The answer to the question, "Where is the leadership?" is being answered by Kerry himself...but also Obama, Biden, and the many wonderful leaders that will join President Obama in his administration.

The blindness is giving way to truth. And I, for one, am grateful for 'soldiers' like John Kerry. :patriot:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
16. Good stuff. Kerry not only gets to fulfill a dream,
but he'll also be in the thick of crafting some of the most important legislation ever.



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Grateful for Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
17. I knew this was the case
I am very happy for Senator Kerry (extraordinaire).
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I like that. 'Senator Kerry, Extraordinaire'...
... :7
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Grateful for Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. So do I!
He is the best!
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Absolutely! n/t
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
22. K & R
:kick: :patriot:
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