Difference between revisions of "John Kerry"

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|Name = John Kerry  
|Name = John Kerry  
|Profile picture = John Kerry.jpg
|Profile picture = John Kerry.jpg
|Position = [[U.S. Department of State|U.S. Secretary of State]]
|Position = U.S. Secretary of State  
|Status = Incumbent
|Status = Incumbent
|Tenure = February 1, 2013-Present
|Tenure = February 1, 2013-Present

Revision as of 10:01, 19 February 2014

John Kerry
John Kerry.jpg
U.S. Secretary of State
In office
February 1, 2013-Present
Elections and appointments
NominatedDecember 21, 2012
ConfirmedJanuary 29, 2013
AppointedFebruary 1, 2013
Appointed byBarack Obama
Prior offices
United States Senator
1985-February 1, 2013
Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
Bachelor'sYale University
J.D.Boston College
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Navy
Years of service1966-1970
CitationsSilver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart (3)
Date of birthDecember 11, 1943
Place of birthBoston
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
John Kerry (b. December 11, 1943, in Aurora, Colorado) is the current U.S. Secretary of State of America. Kerry was confirmed by the Senate on January 29, 2013, by a vote of 94-3.[1] Kerry then resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate.[1] He served as a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from 1985-2013, representing Massachusetts.[2]


While Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado, his family moved to Massachusetts when he was young. He eventually was accepted to and graduated from Yale University. Kerry then volunteered for the U.S. Navy and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He earned a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.[3]

Kerry has been in public service since first running for office in 1972.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Kerry's academic, professional and political career:[5]

Confirmation vote

John Kerry confirmation vote, January 29, 2013
Party Votes for Approveda Votes against Defeatedd Total votes
Democratic Party Democrats 48 0 48
Republican Party Republicans 46 3 49
Independent Independents 0 0 0
Total Votes 94 3 97

Committee assignments

Kerry discusses sending the possibility of sending more troops abroad in this 2009 video on CBS.

U.S. Senate


Kerry served on the following Senate committees[6]:


During the 112th Congress, Kerry served on the following committees.


Secretary of State positions

Violence in Libya

Kerry condemned violent attacks by Libyan militias on November 15, 2013 that left 31 protesters dead and more than 200 injured. He released a statement, saying, "If a free people are going to succeed in forging a peaceful, secure, and prosperous country with a government based on the rule of law and respect for human rights, then there can be no place for this kind of violence in the new Libya."[7]

Iran sanctions

Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew scheduled a briefing with the Senate Banking Committee over nuclear talks with Iran, as the Senate considered new sanctions. Kerry and Lew will testify on behalf of the Obama administration in order to push for the ability to waive sanctions depending on nuclear talks. The House passed a version of the bill with stronger sanctions in July.[8] According to a State Department spokesperson, "while we understand that Congress may consider new sanctions, we think this is a time for a pause, as we asked for in the past, to see if negotiations can gain traction."[9]

Iran agreed to an interim deal that Kerry stated, "halts the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolls its back in certain places," in exchange for the United States giving $7 billion in sanctions relief. In a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on December 10, 2013, Kerry stated, "Iran’s nuclear programs will not move forward." Pushback came on the six month agreement from both sides of the aisle. Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel said, "I have serious reservations about the agreement," while Republican Rep. Ed Royce claimed that by allowing Iran to continue to enrich uranium under the deal, "we may have bargained away our fundamental position."[10]


See also: United States involvement in Syria

In response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons on rebels and civilians in a Damascus suburb, Kerry supports President Obama's decision to use a limited military strike against the Syrian government.[11] Kerry stated: "Well, we know that the Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons programs in the entire Middle East. We know that the regime has used those weapons multiple times this year, and has used them on a smaller scale but still it has used them against its own people, including not very far from where last Wednesday's attack happened."[12]

"It matters because if we choose to live in the world where a thug and a murderer like Bashar al-Assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the United States and our allies said no, and then the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve and the dangers that will flow from those others who believe that they can do as they will."[12]

Congressional positions


According to Kerry's campaign website, he supported a true end to the Iraq war. Specifically, Kerry promoted the establishment of a specific date to withdraw all troops.[13]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Kerry voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[14]



On November 4, 2008, John Kerry won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Jeffrey K. Beatty (R) and Robert J. Underwood (L) in the general election.[15]

U.S. Senate, Massachusetts General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kerry incumbent 63.6% 1,971,974
     Republican Jeffrey K. Beatty 29.8% 926,044
     Libertarian Robert J. Underwood 3% 93,716
     N/A All Others 0.1% 2,516
     N/A Blank/Scattering 3.5% 108,748
Total Votes 3,102,998

2004 presidential election

In 2004, Kerry was defeated by incumbent George W. Bush for the United States presidency.

U.S. presidential election, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes Electoral votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngGeorge W. Bush/Dick Cheney Incumbent 50.8% 62,039,572 286
     Democratic John Kerry/John Edwards 48.3% 59,027,115 251
     Independent Ralph Nader/Peter Camejo 0.4% 465,642 0
     Libertarian Michael Badnarik/Richard Campagna 0.3% 397,265 0
     Constitution Michael Peroutka/Charles Baldwin 0.1% 144,650 0
     Green David Cobb/Pat LaMarche 0.1% 119,910 0
Total Votes 122,194,154 537
Election Results Via: 2004 Presidential General Election Results

Other candidates that appeared on the ballot received less than 0.1% of the vote. Those candidates included: Leonard Peltier, Walt Brown, Róger Calero, Thomas Harens, Gene Amondson, Bill Van Auken, John Parker, Charles Jay, Stanford Andress and Earl Dodge.[16]

Full history

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Kerry's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Kerry won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Kerry's campaign committee raised a total of $11,105,663 and spent $17,016,823.[21]


Breakdown of the source of Kerry's campaign funds before the 2002 election.

Kerry won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2002. During that re-election cycle, Kerry's campaign committee raised a total of $15,468,903 and spent $10,297,909.[22]

His top 5 contributors between 2003-2008 were:


Department budget

U.S. Department of State[23] Annual Budget
YearBudget (in billions)% Difference from previous year
  • Note: 2014 only represents the Department's budget request, not an enacted budget.

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking


Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Kerry was a "far-left Democratic leader".[24]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Kerry was ranked the 24th most liberal senator during 2012.[25]


According to the data released in 2012, Kerry was ranked the 24th most liberal senator during 2011.[26]

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Kerry voted with the Democratic Party 97.2% of the time, which ranked 6th among the 51 Senate Democrats in November 2011.[27]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Kerry paid his congressional staff a total of $2,828,790 in 2011. He ranks 15th on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 20th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Massachusetts ranks 12th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[28]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Kerry's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $184,268,546 and $287,685,063.00. That averages to $235,976,804.00, which is significantly higher than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,449.53. His average net worth increased by 1.84% from 2010.[29]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Kerry's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $181,469,521 and $281,976,067. That averages to $231,722,794, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524 .[30]


Kerry is married to Theresa Heinz. He and his first wife, Julia Thorne, were divorced in 1988. Kerry has two children from his first marriage -- Alexandra and Vanessa. He has three stepsons -- H. John Heinz IV, Andre Heinz and Christopher Heinz.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term John + Kerry + Secretary + State

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

John Kerry News Feed

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Washington Post, "John Kerry confirmed as secretary of state," January 29, 2013
  2. CBS News "Obama taps John Kerry to be Secretary of State," December 21, 2012
  3. Biography.com, "John Kerry," accessed September 17, 2013
  4. Frontline, "The 1972 Defeat," accessed November 25, 2013
  5. Biographical Director of the United States Congress, "John Forbes Kerry," (accessed August 27, 2011)
  6. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  7. Politico, "Kerry condemns Libya violence," November 16, 2013
  8. Reuters, "Kerry, Lew to brief U.S. senators on Iran nuclear talks," October 25, 2013
  9. Politico, "Kerry, Lew to lobby against new Iran sanctions," October 29, 2013
  10. NBC News, "Kerry tried to allay congressional fears over nuclear deal with Iran," December 10, 2013
  11. The Guardian, "US draft resolution allows Obama 90 days for military action against Syria," September 4, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Guardian, "John Kerry statement on US intervention in Syria – full text," August 30, 2013
  13. John Kerry Campaign website, "Iraq," accessed August 27, 2011
  14. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  16. U.S. Election Atlas, "2004 Presidential General Election," accessed September 18, 2013
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  20. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1984," accessed March 28, 2013
  21. Open Secrets, "John Kerry 2008 Election Cycle," accessed October 2011
  22. Open Secrets, "John Kerry 2002 Election Cycle," accessed October 2011
  23. U.S. Department of State, "Budget and Planning - International Affairs Budget," accessed January 31, 2014
  24. GovTrack, "John Kerry," accessed March 3, 2012
  25. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  26. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  27. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed October 5, 2011
  28. LegiStorm, "John Kerry"
  29. OpenSecrets.org, "Kerry, (D-Massachusetts), 2011"
  30. OpenSecrets.org, "Kerry, (D-Massachusetts), 2010"
Political offices
Preceded by
Hillary Clinton
U.S. Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Paul Tsongas
U.S. Senate - Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Mo Cowan