Meet Live Shot

Part 7 of the Boston Globe profile of John Kerry concludes the series. It picks up with the beginning of his second term as senator in 1991. According to the Globe, “By the time John Kerry began his second term as US senator in 1991, his nickname among Massachusetts political insiders was ‘Live Shot,’ a reference to his relentless courting of reporters, especially those with TV cameras in tow.”
The installment gives Kerry his due for his work with Senator John McCain on the Senate committee investigating the possible survival of American POW/MIAs in Vietnam. That committee work appears to have engaged his interest, unlike any actual legislative issue. His record of legislative accomplishment in the Senate appears to be nil.
The installment also focuses on the 1995-96 period when Kerry married Teresa Heinz and ran for reelection against then-Governor William Weld. But the highlight of the piece is the Globe’s examination of Kerry’s position(s) on Gulf War I in 1991. His maneuvering then set the pattern for his current maneuvering:
“After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Kerry suggested that the United States needed to give Saddam Hussein enough diplomatic ‘wiggle room’ to leave Kuwait without losing face. He then voted against the congressional resolution authorizing military force, but became an enthusiastic supporter of the war as the allied coalition drove to victory in early 1991. His position was so nuanced that his office couldn’t keep up with the changes, at one point mistakenly mailing out letters to his constituents that appeared to take both sides in the debate.
“On Jan. 22, 1991, Kerry’s office sent a letter to a constituent, thanking him for expressing opposition to the deployment of additional US troops in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. ‘I share your concerns,’ Kerry wrote, noting that on Jan. 11 he had voted in favor of a resolution opposing giving the president immediate authority to go to war and seeking to give economic sanctions more time to work.
“On Jan. 31, the same constituent received a letter stating that, ‘From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush’s response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf.’
“Kerry blamed the mix-up on a computer error and subsequently wrote in defense of his position on the Gulf war: ‘The debate in the Senate was not about whether we should or should not have used force, but when force should be used.'”
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The Globe caption reads: “John F. Kerry (right) in central Vietnam in 1994 to observe efforts to account for US MIAs.”

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