After 24 Years, Kerry Comes Into His Own

No longer aloof, he's interested in local issues, collaboration
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2009 1:01 PM CDT
John Kerry, right, and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry meet with Chinese officers during their visit to the Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 26, 2009.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool)
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(Newser) – John Kerry is a changed man, his colleagues tell the Boston Globe. Gone is the seemingly aloof Kerry known for his solo speeches and patrician habits. These days Kerry is a consensus builder, holding weekly strategy sessions of the kind his state's senior senator is known for. Kerry’s also found a sudden interest in local issues, stepping into the current void left by Ted Kennedy's illness, and keeping in close contact with local officials.

“I would go through the wall now for John Kerry,” said one Massachusetts mayor, “and I wouldn’t have said that 10 years ago.” Capitol Hill colleagues say he seems happier now that he’s settled into his role as Capitol Hill’s top foreign policy authority. “He seems to be much more of a team player,” says Barbara Boxer. “John has emerged as one of the great leaders of the Senate.”