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The Senior Senator From Massachusetts

Senator John Kerry talks about the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and diplomacy with Iran.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

What a difference four years makes. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), long in the shadow of his mentor, the late Edward M. Kennedy, now finds himself the senior senator from his state and involved in just about every policy initiative and major piece of legislation before the Senate these days.

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He is leading the charge on climate control -- on Wednesday, he and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced a Senate bill addressing the issue -- and is spending grueling hours in the Finance Committee to mark up a health-care reform bill. As the influential chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee -- the same committee he once addressed as a protesting Vietnam veteran -- he makes no secret of his skepticism about sending more troops to Afghanistan. Branded as a lone wolf by his colleagues before his failed 2004 presidential bid, he now seems to be enjoying the minutiae of legislating.

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday, he talked about why climate legislation should take precedence over financial reform, why he wants to put the brakes on a troop buildup in Afghanistan, and why he thinks Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be damaged goods.

Watch the entire interview at http://www.washingtonpost.com/voices-of-power/.

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