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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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In July, Kerry chose North Carolina senator and former trial lawyer John Edwards as his running mate. Later that month, Kerry and Edwards were joined by speakers Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Madeline Albright and others at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. In November 2004, after a hard-fought and often bitter campaign,
Kerry conceded the presidential election to incumbent George W. Bush.
After his failed presidential bid, Kerry continued to be a strong presence in the U.S. Senate. He became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009. In 2011, Kerry was asked to help sort out the nation's fiscal problems as a member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
In December 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Kerry to be his next secretary of state. Kerry succeeded Hillary Clinton who previously held the post. Obama considered Kerry to be the ideal candidate for the job with his decades of political experience. "John's played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years," Obama said in a press conference, according to CNN.
Kerry's nomination was approved by the vast majority of the Senate with a 94 to 3 vote on January 29, 2013. His years on experience with matters of foreign policy will prove to be a great asset for his new job. As his fellow Democrat, Senator Bob Menendez, explained, "Kerry will need no introduction to the world's political and military leaders." The new secretary of state "will begin Day 1 fully conversant not only with the intricacies of U.S. foreign policy, but able to act on a multitude of international stages," Menendez added, according to a report by The Associated Press.
One of Kerry's great challenges as secretary of state has been the conflict in Syria between rebels and the government led by Bashar al-Assad. In late August 2013, he confirmed that chemical weapons had been used on civilians by al-Assad's forces. The use of these weapons "defies any code of morality," Kerry told the press, according to U.S. News & World Report. "The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity." Kerry warned that President Obama believes that the Syrian government must be held accountable for this brutal and senseless act.
Following Obama's announcement in regards to the likelihood of a strike on Syria by the U.S., Russia—among other nations—agreed to negotiate a plan to have Syria release its chemical weapons. Kerry made an announcement during a joint press conference with Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov on September 10, 2013, saying that the negotiations for a deal with Syria were underway, and while there were many expectations within the agreement, it was still a solution that he believed could be reached. However, he also expressed that the U.S. taking military action against Syria was still an option.
Later that month, Kerry met the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
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