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Serving his country

Serving his country has long been part of John Kerry’s modus operandi.

Now it appears that the nation has a new role in mind, one that he would handle with distinction.

Following United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice’s withdrawal from consideration as the person to take Hillary Clinton’s place as U.S. Secretary of State, the Obama administration appears ready to tap Massachusetts’ senior senator for the post as the country’s top diplomat.

Kerry has the background and temperament suited for such a position on the stages in Washington and the world.

That experience includes 27 years representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the halls of the Capitol, including time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he has been chairman since 2009, replacing now Vice President Joe Biden.

And when it comes to the world, and the U.S, role in it, Kerry has proven that he’s not a stay-at-home guy. He has represented the nation in meetings with world leaders, including in such hot spots like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And he has demonstrated a willingness to take stands that aren’t always popular. In 1971, Kerry appeared before the very same Foreign Relations Committee he would someday head, as a decorated Vietnam veteran speaking out against the war. Later, he would be one of the Senate voices arguing for the investigation that would become the Iran-Contra hearings.

Kerry’s credentials also include his run for the White House. No doubt the campaign in 2004 helped sharpen his skills as well as placing him in a position to deal with the kind of partisan criticism that will come his way in the country’s political arena.

Criticism that might come from the other side of the aisle in the Senate, however, appears to be tempered by respect.

“If he is nominated, he comes into the position with a world of knowledge. He’s someone who certainly understands how the legislative process works and I think he will be someone that Congress will want to work with in a very positive way,” said Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, a Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Anyway you look at it, Kerry has the experience and ability to serve in this important role. Although, he would be missed here in Massachusetts as one of the important voices in Congress, the state should take pride that Kerry is willing to once again answering his nation’s call to duty.

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