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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:01 PM

Editorial: World getting to know all about John Kerry

From the Springfield Republican


During his 2008 run for the presidency, Republicans painted John F. Kerry as a stiff, out-of-touch, elitist who seemed – Mon Dieu! – more European than American.

It was unfair criticism, of course. But that’s the nature of politics in the United States.

Now, our new Secretary of State, is making his first trip abroad as the nation’s No. 1 diplomat – and, so far, he’s showing a much more approachable side of his nature than he did on the campaign trail.

On Tuesday during a town hall meeting with students in Berlin, Kerry told of his boyhood adventures during the 1950s when his father was a foreign service officer in the divided city. One day, he told the students, he rode his bicycle over to East Berlin just to take a look around.

“I saw the difference between east and the west,” he said. “I saw people wearing darker clothing; there were fewer people in the street, there were fewer cars...”

When he returned home, however, his father was not impressed, warning that the young Kerry could have caused an international incident.

“So I lost my passport, and I was grounded,” he said. “And I never made another trip like that.”

Kerry, who spoke a few phrases in German, tackled serious topics as well – ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a proposal for a trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union.

But it was his personal candor and enjoyment at the give-and-take with the students that was, perhaps, most illuminating to the young people at the town hall session, German leaders and folks back in the U.S. who read about the meeting.

He told an admirer of a tie that he purchased it on the Internet, and that she could too. He said if he had to do it again, he’d major in comparative religion and comparative literature and he ended his talk asking if he could come back soon.

As Kerry continues his nine-day trip to Europe and the Mideast, we think the former Bay State senator is getting off to a good start in a job he seems born to have.

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Reply Editorial: World getting to know all about John Kerry (Original post)
Mass Feb 2013 OP
ProSense Feb 2013 #1
karynnj Feb 2013 #2
protect our future Feb 2013 #3
Cha Feb 2013 #4

Response to Mass (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:42 PM

1. Thanks for posting.

I really enjoyed watching his exchange with students. I now have the State Dept. site bookmarked. Fascinating stuff.

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Response to Mass (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:58 PM

2. Thanks for posting - that really is nice.

The silly thing is how bad the journalist is. Kerry ran in 2004 and he told the story of biking in East Germany in his acceptance speech essentially making the same point --- and having the same laugh line about being grounded.

Still, it is nice that they are now seeing him through the eyes of foreign reporters, not the cynical negative people who dogged him through his career. This is the Kerry I have seen at each event that I went to - whether for his and Teresa's book or political.

I remember being surprised in 2005 when I saw him in NJ where he was campaigning for Corzine. He was charming and funny - especially with a really nice joke that he had found a genie in a bottle in 2004 and was granted 3 wishes - he then said he wished the Patriots would win the superbowl -- and that the Red Soxes would win the World Series ( laughing - saying it was already done- when NJ Yankee fans objected) He then said that he wanted to win in November as his third wish, but was told that he would only get two wishes as the number of wishes was downsized because of the Bush economy. Watching the Senate, he was always the most compelling person at the table -- and he had a sense of humor even when dealing with serious issues in committees.

He really seems to be enjoying his new position and I wonder if all he learned about the importance of relationships in the Senate will allow him to be a very good SOS.

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Response to Mass (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:04 PM

3. I'll be happy if this country gets to know

the real John Kerry.

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Response to Mass (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:59 PM

4. Thanks Mass!

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