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On foreign policy, Kerry is Obama’s good soldier

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This year, Kerry has presided over committee hearings on treaties and other major issues, but there has been little legislative work. He didn’t draw much attention to the committee, avoiding possible embarrassments for the administration in an election year.

Corker said he would have liked for the committee to devote more time to events in Libya, Syria and other countries.

At a glance

Sen. John Kerry

Name » John Forbes Kerry.

Age, birth date » 69; Dec. 11, 1943.

Education » Bachelor’s degree, political science, Yale University, 1966; law degree, Boston College, 1976.

Experience » U.S. Senate, 1985-present; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president, 2004; Massachusetts lieutenant governor, 1983-1985; lawyer in private practice, 1979-1982; Middlesex County, Mass., prosecutor, 1976-1978; spokesman, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, 1971; Navy officer, awarded Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat “V,” three Purple Hearts for Vietnam War service, 1966-1970.

Family » Wife, Teresa Heinz; two children, three stepchildren, two grandchildren.

Quote » “I’ve known and worked closely with Susan Rice not just at the U.N., but in my own campaign for president. I’ve defended her publicly and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again because I know her character and I know her commitment. She’s an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant.”

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"I think he’s tried to accommodate our concerns and at the same time seek a balance ... giving the administration the headroom they needed to do what he and the administration felt was best. I understand that," he said, speaking of Kerry.

Coons said Kerry’s deliberate work is often behind the scenes.

"The role of the chairman ... is not always getting your picture taken with George Clooney, standing around with heads of state, going to receptions in Foggy Bottom," he said. "It’s also lots and lots of time listening to folks who’ve got concerns whether it’s on behalf of the defense community, the business community, the diplomatic community and being the person who’s at the intersection of all that and trying to keep the Senate productively engaged in a very dangerous world with a lot of emerging threats."


Associated Press writer Steve Peoples in Boston contributed to this report.


Donna Cassata can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DonnaCassataAP

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