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In a profile of Senator John Kerry and his foreign policy vision–and actions, as Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and friend of many foreign leaders, Kerry is a de-facto member of Obama’s national security team–the New York Times magazine analyzes the likely successor to Hillary Clinton over at Foggy Bottom:

Kerry’s willingness to go anywhere he is needed, and stay as long as needed, has won him Obama’s gratitude. Clinton has said that she will step down should Obama have a second term. And then Kerry may finally get his wish. “There’s no obvious competition for No. 1,” says Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution.

John Kerry is ready, willing and able. And hardworking. And loyal. Hillary Clinton has been, too. Obama is a “transformational” figure who is comfortable surrounding himself with pillars of the foreign-policy establishment. This may explain why he has proved to be less bold than many of his supporters had hoped. Would a Secretary Kerry help Obama make that decisive break with the past? Or would he offer four more years of the same?

Kerry’s rehabilitation from defeated Democratic candidate to elder statesman is nearly complete; if he can leave a distinct mark on American foreign policy, the man who trounced George W. Bush in the first (foreign affairs-themed) debate in the fall of 2004 will have finally lived up to his potential.

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