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Senator John Kerry has supported free trade, expansive foreign and military policy and education spending. In 2004, he was a democratic presidential nominee.
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Born in 1943 in Denver, Colorado, John Kerry was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and was re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. While serving in the Senate, he has supported free trade, expansive U.S. foreign and military policy, investment in education and environmental protection. In 2004,
Born on December 11, 1943, in Denver, Colorado, John Forbes Kerry spent much of his childhood living abroad. His father Richard worked in the foreign service. Kerry and his three siblings were raised in the Catholic faith, and he even served an altar boy for a time.
John Kerry attended St. Paul's School, an elite boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire. He then went on to study political science at Yale University. After completing his bachelor's degree in 1966, Kerry volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy. He fought in the Vietnam War as a gunboat officer. Proving to be a brave and valiant soldier, he earned several military honors, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V (for valor) and three Purple Hearts.
Profoundly affected by his wartime experiences, Kerry worked to support other veterans after returning home in 1969. He co-founded Vietnam Veterans of America and became a spokesperson for Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In 1971, Kerry spoke to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the war.
Kerry made his first bid for public office in 1972, but he failed in this attempted run for Congress. Kerry then pursued a law career, enrolling at Boston College Law School. In 1976, Kerry graduated from law school and used his degree to work in public service. His first legal job was working for the District Attorney of Middlesex County in Massachusetts.
After a few years in private practice, Kerry assumed his first political position in 1982. He served as the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis. Kerry soon moved on to the national stage, winning one of Massachusetts' Senate seats in 1984. He was re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008.
While serving in the Senate, Kerry has earned a reputation as a left-of-center legislator. He supports free trade, expansive U.S. foreign and military policy, investment in education, environmental protection and growth of the high tech New Economy. He has also continued his work on behalf of Vietnam veterans, leading a Senate committee to ensure that there are no POWs left in that country.
In 2004, Kerry won the Democratic nomination for president. He focused much of his campaign efforts on criticizing President George W. Bush. Kerry opposed Bush's foreign policy, particularly in its handling of the Iraq war. Though Kerry voted to give the president authority to wage war in Iraq, he subsequently voted against an $87 billion aid package for the country. Kerry reasons that Bush misused the trust that Congress placed in him, and continues to criticize the president for "squandering the goodwill of the world after September 11."
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