John Kerry: Back in the Hunt

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On a hot August afternoon in 2008, Ted Kennedy took John Kerry sailing on his 50-ft. schooner, the Mya.It was a perfect day on the water, sunny with the occasional cotton-ball cloud riding the strong winds over the family compound in Hyannis Port, Mass. With the Mya's blue hull moving at a good clip, Kennedy turned to his old friend with reminiscences of failed campaigns past: Kennedy's bid for the presidency in 1980 and Kerry's in 2004. What concerned Kennedy, who three months earlier had learned he had a malignant brain tumor, was legacy — Kerry's legacy.

"John, you're where I was after I decided I wouldn't run for President," Kennedy said. "You've got the seniority. You've got the network around the country. You've got all the benefits of having campaigned around the country. You've got 20 years ahead of you in the Senate if you want it, and now no one can question your motives. You can write your own ticket here."

Kerry appears to have taken that advice to heart. Over the past year, the junior Senator from Massachusetts has become the man to see. Health-care talks are stalling? Kerry's got a way to fix the financing. The climate-change bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate? Kerry's leading the negotiations. And as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he has stepped out overseas — and across the aisle in the Senate — to get things done. In a town where second acts are rare, Kerry, 65, has found a new groove. "I think," Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana says, "at least as I have watched him, he does have a great deal more vigor and enthusiasm."...
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