Sen Elizabeth Warren remarks to Sen. Committee on Foreign Relations on behalf of Sen. John Kerry

By:  Elizabeth Warren
Date: Jan. 24, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Thank you. It is an honor to be here with Secretary Clinton and Senator McCain, to introduce my senior senator and my friend, Senator John Kerry.

I have the privilege of speaking for a man I know will continue in the tradition of John Quincy Adams and Christian Herter as great Secretaries of State from Massachusetts. Although John learned much about diplomacy overseas and in the Senate, he would be the first to tell you that Massachusetts was also a great teacher of diplomatic skills: whether it was negotiating his way to make the ballot as a longshot underdog at heavily contested five-way state convention back in 1982 or the way he brought labor and management to the table, locked the parties in his Senate office over a long weekend, brought in Dunkin Donuts, and negotiated an end to the 92 day long Brockton nurses strike. If anyone wants to learn diplomacy -- come try Massachusetts politics.

John's story is well known to many of us, from his youth as a son of a foreign service officer seeing diplomacy up close and learning about foreign policy around the dinner table each night, to his service in combat in Vietnam. Less well known is the story of his foreign policy work inside the Senate:

The 90 overseas trips he made in his 28 years on the Foreign Relations Committee.
His work with Dick Lugar to ensure free elections in the Philippines to ensure free elections, his work with Bill Frist on AIDS in Africa, his work as Chairman on the New START Treaty
and his very public and successful diplomatic interventions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan
I think one day historians will judge his Senate years in terms of his impact on foreign policy, much the same way so many recognize Senator Ted Kennedy's impact on domestic policy.

From his many years in the US Senate, John has developed a very personal understanding that we represent not just states or a government, but people.

I once asked John why he loved the Senate. He said it's the pride he feels in trying to get things done for people. For three years now, he's been quietly working to help a father from Newton, Massachusetts, Colin Bower, whose 2 sons were kidnapped and taken to Egypt. John even called former President Mubarak and had a screaming match with him about it. Five times he's been to Egypt since and every time Colin has been at the top of his list in every meeting. Every Senator here has a Colin Bower -- it's what we do, we fight for people back home. As Secretary, John will understand that and bend over backwards to help us do that. He'll be a terrific bridge from the Hill to the Administration.

I know John cares deeply about our country and our national security. I know he believes through and through in the good that America can do in the world, because he's seen it and lived it all his life, from seeing The Marshall Plan in action with his father in post-World War II Europe to volunteering to serve in the military, and then traveling all these years as a Senator. John says, "America isn't exceptional because we say we are; we're exceptional because we do exceptional things." When the airplane, the one that says on the side, "United States of America," lands anywhere in the world, I will be proud that it will be John Kerry representing us.

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