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.”