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tv   Edward Kennedy Institute - John Kerry Lifetime Achievement Award  CSPAN  November 27, 2017 4:18am-6:00am EST

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is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> former secretary of state john kerry was recently honored with the first lifetime achievement award from the edward m kennedy institute for the u.s. senate. fromcluded a video tribute former vice president joe biden. from boston, this is just over an hour and a half. >> boston has given this nation some of the greatest leaders from john adams the john f. kennedy and that is something that we are very proud of. secretary kerry is in that same tradition. as we can attest to tonight. as a diplomat, he has called many places home. and i do not think he is been at
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any address longer than louisburg square. thank you for being a boston voter. november seven is election day. just so you know, making sure not committed, walsh is on the ballot. [laughter] seriousness, the secretary is a true bostonian and a good neighbor. as secretary of state, he took every opportunity to showcase our city with foreign dignitaries. we know the impact of your thank you for that. as a senator, you took on issues that were not easy or popular. protecting the environment, investing in education, fighting for local and small businesses, growing our high tech economy, and today we look back and see how visionary that was. today we know what climate change is actually doing. we measure sea rise here on the south boston waterfront.
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something that was not always the case. as an activist once said, senator kerry is to the environment as what ted williams is to the red sox. and i think that says it all. and he is still swinging for the fences on that issue appeare. so i want to thank you. [applause] i was proud to join the secretary in beijing two years ago for the international climate summit. the first summit that ever happened with china and the u.s. was in los angeles. the second summit was in beijing. and the third summit was supposed to be held here in the city of boston. it is something the secretary worked really hard on -- i think he flew in to make the announcement. and i want to thank you. and i want to thank you for your passionate defense of the paris
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agreement this year. boston fans with that agreement and with you proudly. we are going to continue to do that. [cheers and applause] and as i look around the room, we know that technology is key to our success. we see companies like general electric and amazon looking at boston, massachusetts. that's because for decades, the secretary kerry was looking at our city and our region with smart economic bills in the u.s. senate. research grants for our universities and hospitals and of course, his long career in leadership on foreign policy. bostonians come from all over the world here -- people come from all over the world here to experience in boston what is happening. we know how important america's leadership and humanity is at every corner of this world. we have immigrants and relatives who know firsthand.
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i will leave it to others today to compare the leadership that we had in just a few short months and what we have now. for my part, i want to say thank you. i want to say thank you for your military service. i want to thank you for your work with our veterans, i want to say thank you for your public service, going to bat for local companies, and securing to the medical waiver for the boston medical center in 2012 so it could keep its mission focus on the needy, i want to thank you for that. lastly, i want to thank you for your passion. your passion and devotion to public service. you have inspired countless numbers of young people and people in the city and country. you are continuing to inspire the next generation. i want to thank you for all of your great work. this sounds like it is a goodbye to him, but i know it is not a goodbye. but for this phase of your life, at least for this award tonight, congratulations and thank you for everything you did. [applause]
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sen. warren: hello. i am elizabeth warren, the senior senator from massachusetts. warren: i'm here tonight to say thank you. thank you to a lot of people. thank you very much to ambassador suchman, lou and patty, for putting this tonight. a special thank you to vicki kennedy for all the work you have done that brings us to this evening. thank you. [applause] so, president truman once said that a statesman is a politician who has been dead 10 or 15 years. well, harry truman never met
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john kerry, a true respected american statesman in every sense of the word. [applause] sen. warren: and you all know about john's remarkable career, from his military service to his record-setting travel across the globe as the secretary of state. in all of that, john never once wavered in his commitment to public service. he rose to the chair of the senate of foreign relations committee, but he remains the same man of principle who testified before that committee 38 years earlier as a young vietnam veteran. always a man of principle. [applause] sen. warren: think about where we are at this moment.
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as anyone who follows the news, and frankly, many who try not to follow the news, we are deeply worried about the dangers around the globe. a nuclear showdown with north korea, destruction of the deal that has prevented iran from already developing a nuclear weapon, russian interference in u.s. elections, the growing power of china, a neverending go war in afghanistan, and on and on and on. people are worried and they are right to be worried. so, i want to be clear about this. the world is a safer, stronger place because of john kerry. [applause] sen. warren: for four years, secretary kerry guided the state department with a steady hand and gained respect for himself and for our country. around the world.
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he made progress on really tough challenges. congress and the administration should build on the foundation secretary kerry created, not squander america's leadership by making the world more dangerous. [applause] sen. warren: in just a few minutes, we will be heading to the institute's beautiful model senate chamber. now, back in january, 2013, john escorted me into the senate chamber. it was the day of the swearing in, and it was literally my first time on the floor of the united states senate. that's an exciting day for new senators. the vice president is there to swear everyone in and crack jokes, friends and family are looking down from the galleries, and just as we got ready to step out, i felt the awesome
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responsibility of the oath i was about to take. and there by my side was a man who had first taken that oath decades earlier. a man who had faithfully served his country in one role or another for more than half a century. and he leaned over and he whispered in my year, you will do fine, elizabeth. just be true to your principles. and then he smiled. [applause] sen. warren: and now, every day in washington, i head to my desk on the floor. and like all the desks, the former senators who have used it have etched their names inside the drawer. my desk has three very special inscriptions. john f. kennedy, ted kennedy, and john kerry.
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when i sit in the senate, i often run my hand across those names and i think about the legacy they built and about the responsibility and the opportunity that comes with being a united states senator from massachusetts. time and again, john kerry has shown us what public service looks like. and we are allt, grateful for it. to john, to alex, and vanessa -- thank you for giving me a chance to be part of the celebration. and to john, on behalf of lake a grateful country, thank you for your service. thank you. [applause]
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sen. markey: my name is ed markey and i'm the junior senator from the state of massachusetts and i am very proud to have that role. [laughter] [applause] sen. markey: thank you, vicky, for bringing us all together to celebrate the legendary life of secretary john kerry. it was vicki kennedy, and john kerry who first encouraged me to run for the united states senate seat four years ago. actually, in 1976, john kerry knocked on my door after the speaker of the house had kicked my desk out in the hall, and he offered me his furniture for my very first congressional race. fast-forward to today, i am still benefiting from his work, his friendship, and his
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furniture in the united states senate. [laughter] sen. markey: vicki, ted loved you so much. he would be so proud of what you have accomplished here together with his beloved sons. ted kennedy, for what you accomplishing as a great senator in connecticut and patrick kennedy for taking president kennedy's mission to the moon and it turning it into a mission of the mind. you all continue to carry the torch making impossible dreams come true. thank you to the greatest mayor and united states, marty walsh , and to -- [applause] sen. markey: and to senator elizabeth warren, the best partner you could ever have in the united states senate. in the age of donald trump. [applause] sen. markey: thanks for jim
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karen, patty jacobs, dr. mary grant, to ambassador caroline, kennedy schlossberg and the great congressman joe kennedy. and to john's extraordinary wife, teresa hinds kerry, and his daughters and family, you are his and our national treasures. how wonderful it is to be here at the emk institute two years after its opening. this 21st century edifice is now etched into the history of our city and our nation. and much like teddy kennedy, the lasting impact of this institute rises beyond our imagination. educating each generation about the issues of the day and the vital role of the senate in advancing progress in america and around the world. teaching kids that there are three branches of government. we are going to put donald trump in a constitutional remedial program on that issue.
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[laughter] sen. markey: the undreamed of the responsibilities of the kennedy brothers taught us to give back to this country which has given so much to us, and they taught us to be bold. it was the honor of my life to serve with and learn from ted kennedy in the united states congress for 33 years. and it has been my great honor to serve and work with and be a friend of john kerry for 40 years. both of these great men are known for their bipartisanship andr crossing the aisle, nations of friendship, for civility and dedication to social justice, for standing up for the american people, and getting things done. that is why it is so fitting to celebrate him at the edward m. kennedy institute -- a hub of history. a place that showcases how
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effective public policies fuel groundbreaking discoveries and progress across all fields. spreading dreams across towns and nations, building bridges. those are the hallmarks of john kerry's career. this is who he is -- diplomacy and fighting for social justice is in john kerry's dna. he is a genetically hardwired for service to this country. he is a master political strategist with the wisdom of thoreau and the energy of a wind turbine in a hurricane. and that is john kerry's life story. he has always stood up and answered the call. he has always given back. he has always been bold. from his navy service and heroism, to his later courageous opposition to the vietnam war, first assistant district attorney to middlesex county, lieutenant governor, and his
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incredible career in the senate. and chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. and as our democratic nominee for president in 2004, how much better would the united states and world be if john kerry had been president? [applause] john's entire life was a training ground for the critical goods -- critical position of secretary of state where he built bridges of understanding between people and nations and provided exemplary leadership on some of the most pressing issues of our time. he is both fearless and fair. whether he is creating coalitions across oceans as secretary of state or across the aisle as a great united states senator. he is the embodiment of truly doing god's work here on earth. he turned the sermon of the mount into his mission. blessed are the poor, blessed
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are the sick, the children, the elderly, and the planet. john, blessed are the peacemakers, working tirelessly to resolve conflicts in the middle east. iran, north korea, and the world. he was america's peacemaker in chief. john, for theou, great job that you did. [applause] sen. markey: john has been a champion of the environment with long-standing leadership of protecting our planet from climate change, to start the first earth day in 1970, opposing the keystone pipeline, protecting our oceans, and negotiating the paris climate agreement in 2016. in fact, the paris agreement would never have happened without his leadership. his work negotiating the 2014 bilateral climate agreement with china was the piece of the puzzle that made it clear that
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both countries, the two largest economies and sources of carbon pollution, were committed to taking action. that agreement with china was the critical component to accomplishing the climate accord in paris. that is john kerry. and while this new administration may try to withdraw from its commitments based on bogus science from trump university -- mr. president, 75 degrees on october boston. the truth is that the climate revolution is underway and there is no turning back. we see it every day. because of john kerry, the goals of the paris agreement are being met. mayors and governors, ceos, entrepreneurs, citizens across the world and america are stepping up accepting the challenge and moving forward. and at a time when -- [applause] sen. markey: by the way, we have
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the great sheldon whitehouse from rhode island leading the charge on climate change with us here tonight. [applause] sen. markey: and at a time when we are deeply concerned about north korea expanding and using their nuclear arsenal, we do not need donald trump attempting to decertify the historic iran nuclear nonproliferation agreement that secretary kerry so brilliantly negotiated. [applause] sen. markey: yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. saturday, the foreign relations democrats had an emergency phone call. senators strategized the actions needed to protect this important agreement that john kerry negotiated. john kerry is a master statesman
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who has used tools, education, smart power, health, and development to help our country. and through his service, he has lifted the gaze of all americans to the constellation of possibilities for ourselves. for a nation, and for our world. if there was a mount rushmore for diplomats, john kerry would be carved into that stone. 's legacy, like his spirit, is indomitable. in 2009 as one of his final visionary acts, senator ted kennedy wrote a letter to president obama. he told him that what was at stake for the debate of the affordable care act were the fundamental principles of social justice and the very character of our country. tonight we celebrate a man who embodies that character of country. this institute, a place where hope and history runs, allows
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teddy's lion's heart, courage, and words to run. that is why it is so fitting that we honor secretary and senator john kerry with the lifetime achievement award as a man who's legendary public service, commitment to social justice and courage has made hope and history rhyme. john kerry. congratulations, john. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the honorable patrick kennedy, the honorable ted kennedy junior -- [applause]
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>> i always wanted to speak on the floor of the senate. [laughter] >> i am honored to be here and as they say in the congress, associate myself with the remarks from the two gentlelady and gentleman from massachusetts out in the foyer. they could not have said it any better. i know we could not have a better place to honor you than the floor that is also here to honor my dad who loved you so much and loved serving with you and was so grateful to be a mentor, of sorts, for you. and respect that you had for you is something that all of us are so grateful for. over the time in the senate, you earned so many mentees yourself and they were so many people that respected the work that you did, as you can hear from the comments from the other room. i am honored to say thank you
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for not only being such a good friend of my dad's, but for me and for the rest of my family. you never hesitated to reach out for any of my family whenever we needed help. and i know a couple of those occasions, it was on my behalf and i will always be grateful to you personally for that. [applause] >> i want to particularly thank jean mccormick who has really shepherded this institute through the early days of its founding. i know jean is leaving, but she will always be a part of this institute because of her formative work in helping us build this institute and establish the relationships that we have established because people love you, jean. they love working with you. this was a warm and welcoming place because you were there to
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make it sell. and i am so personally grateful. my dad would be so over the moon , full of gratitude for all that you have done for this institute. thank you so much. now i turn it over to senator kennedy. [applause] sen. kennedy: thank you, patrick. before -- we are all here to recognize an amazing friend and american, senator kerry. and it is really an honor for those of us in the kennedy family to know that you are going to be the very first recipient of the prize named in my father's name that recognizes an outstanding personal commitment to public service, and that really fills me with
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gratitude, and thanks, to you. to patty jacobs and and lou susman, to jim karam -- thank you. to you, vicki, thank you. my father could not have had a better companion and confidant and partner than you. and thank you for everything you have done to make this incredible institute. [applause] i have a privilege of reading a special message from another great american who could not be here tonight. but before i do, i just want to echo the words of my brother patrick to say thank you, john, for everything that you have done for our family. we have heard the accolades in the other room, recognizing your incredible achievement in public
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service, but i can stand here and just say thank you for being such an incredible friend to my father. my father had so much admiration for you. not just for your military service and coming back here and leading the effort here in our country, but watching your career progress, he thought you were a person of the highest integrity. he thought that there were very few people who had your dedication to public service. and i also want to thank you for the incredible friendship that you had with my dad. you guys were a dynamic duo who loved this state of massachusetts. and we will forever be grateful for your service to the state. [applause] sen. kennedy: it's a special message that just came in earlier this evening. it says, i am pleased to send
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greetings to everyone participating in the edward m. kennedy institute's celebration of secretary kerry. i wish i could join you in person tonight in boston, but i wanted you to know how grateful i am for your continued dedication to this place that ted left to a new generation of americans. a monument not to himself, but to what we the people as citizens have the power to do together. for the almost three decades that john represented the commonwealth of massachusetts in the senate, nearly 25 years of which were alongside ted, he was tireless in the pursuit of america's progress. in his service as secretary of state, john led our strong principled american diplomacy, rallying other nations to help us combat climate change, aid refugees, dismantle iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.
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john kerry helped make america a more respected place in the world, and a better, stronger place than when it was when he began his journey in public service. i'm grateful for john's friendship and all that he has contributed to the life of this country we love. enjoy this evening, because the work goes on and michelle and i will be there with you every step of the way. sincerely, barack obama. [applause] patrick kennedy: and now a video tribute from a great friend to all of us, joe biden. [video clip]
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v.p. biden: folks, welcome to the edward m. kennedy institute for the united states senate. if you are there, you feel like you are in the senate. this is an incredible facility. how proud teddy and kara would be if they were here. god, we all miss them. teddy jr., patrick, you are all a chip off the old block. dedicated to public service like he was, you are dedicated to one another. vicki, i know you are there tonight as well. you have been wonderful to me and to my family. anyway, you have been wonderful. the work that you and the institute have done to introduce young people to the nobility of public service is incredible. not only i thank you, but the whole nation thanks you. i really wish i could be there with you all tonight. not only because i was feeling home in a senate chamber, even a replica, but because you are honoring a great public servant
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and that sounds almost stale, a really great american. a great friend of mine and a guy that is still my great friend. john, congratulations. you know, being the chair of the senate foreign relations committee was one of the highest privileges i ever had in my career. as you can imagine, handing over that gavel when i was sworn in as vice president was not all that easy. but knowing it i was handing it to john made me feel good. i hardly need to tell you all what a courageous, honorable man of integrity john is. the man u are honoring tonight. not just his physical courage in the battlefield, although that is enviable. when he defended our country as a young naval officer, you all know about that, but in the nearly 50 years since john came back from the battle, he has demonstrated a more and rare trait -- moral courage. speaking up for his fellow
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veterans back home, taking on global corruption, unraveling what would eventually be the iran contra affair. fighting for the environment -- and by the way, he was one of the early leaders on the environment, being the standardbearer for the dangers of climate change. and he is still doing it. he is still doing it. and we need you. and of course as a indefatigable secretary of state, john tackled problems we were facing around the world with passion that was second to none. and endurance that used to make the president -- when you would walk out of the office, john, he after one of your seven day trips, he would say how in the hell does he do it? from securing the iran deal to the paris agreement, to pursuing david lee with persistence and integrity and intellect the middle east peace accords, which john,me really close,
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kept a lot of bad things from happening. it would have made the world even safer and stronger had we been able to get it done. john, congratulations on this great honor. you deserve it, you have earned it, and i want to thank you for being a really good and loyal friend and then an incredible partner. both in the senate and state department. in case it was not already clear enough from newspaper headlines these days, john, we still need you. i am confident that we are going to be able to continue to count on you, john, because you have not once let this country down. your entire life. so john, have a great evening. and everyone enjoy it. enjoy john. he is a special, special person. congratulations, john.
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>> please welcome mrs. victoria reggie kennedy. [applause] mrs. kennedy: thank you. thank you. thank you, all. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you all so much for being here to support the edward m. kennedy institute and to celebrate and honor a very special man who continues to devote his life to public service. our dear friend, my dear friend, secretary john kerry. but before i had my word to all of those wonderful words we have heard tonight about john, i hope you will indulge me for just a few minutes to say a few thank you's. thank you to ambassador lou
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susman, to patty jacobs, our co-chairs for this evening -- what a wonderful job you have done. thank you from the bottom of my heart. [applause] mrs. kennedy: to anne fanukin and bank of america, thank you so much. [applause] mrs. kennedy: to our host committee, to our table sponsors -- thank you so much for making tonight the success that it is. they are all listed in our programs. and i am so forever and deeply grateful for all of you for being here, because what we do here inspires young people and you make that possible. so thank you so much. [applause] and thanks to lydia shire and the executive chef alexander scheier for the fabulous meal that we've had here tonight.
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and to bob gibbs at gourmet. i appreciate all they have done to make this night special. [applause] mrs. kennedy: and to all of our team at the kennedy institute. starting with you, jean, our wonderful, fabulous president, who has told me she was retiring for how long and i said, no, it is not possible. i am still not quite accepting it except for the fabulous mary grant is sitting next to you. that's the only reason we are allowing you to go. mary, we are looking forward to you. but we haven't quite let jean go, and i know you understand that. thank you for everything, jean. [applause] mrs. kennedy: to jim karam and all of the board, to all of the incredible staff, chris mosher, ginaevelopment director perill, our public affairs
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officer, and all of your team, thank you all so much. as we gather tonight in this replica of the senate chamber, i'm reminded of what my husband told me he wanted this place to be. he wanted a place that inspires you generations to want to give back and serve our nation. he hoped that by walking through those doors and feeling the awe and the majesty of this room , that new generations would remember the men and women who had served in the united states senate throughout our history. who had come together to address the great challenges facing our nation. and he hoped that by remembering those public servants who made such an extraordinary difference, we would all be inspired to give back and make a difference as well. it's in that spirit that we
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honor the very first person that we have ever honored at this institute -- a public servant, a man who has given back and made a difference for his entire adult life. let's watch this video. [video clip] ♪ >> from his service in the military, to returning home and helping to raise the consciousness of a nation, to his service as an assistant district attorney, to his service in state government, to his service in the united states senate, to his incredible service as our secretary of state, to his continued service inspiring new generations -- john kerry's life has been about service. >> my dad has been a public servant his entire life. the place i am most comfortable
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speaking to his legacy as a public service is just the example he has set for me. i've seen him take stances on the issues that many other people maybe would not. but he took a stand because he fundamentally believed it was the right thing to take. >> he is a tough, courageous guy. he confronts the obstacles that he was asked to in the military. that is the kind of soldier he was. i am proud of the service that he showed. but more important was the courage it took to protest that service. >> john has demonstrated over and over again his commitment to the united states of america. he was a war hero. he fought in vietnam. he served his country with great distinction in the congress of the united states. he served as our nation's chief diplomat.
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i really admire him as an outstanding public servicemen for the united states of america. >> given the blessing of working close with him, not only did i could to see his incredible intellect and expertise and command of the issues and how thoughtfully he approached the issues, but he was a statesman. he did not allow anyone to take him outside of his character. >> the word determination is something that i have admired about john. he is a very determined guy. and when he gets his teeth into something, he does not let go. >> when i think of john kerry, the word that comes to my mind is "persistent." he doesn't give up. and if he can't get it done one way, he comes back and looks at it a different way and continues until he accomplishes whatever he sets his mind to. and that's one of the things that made him such a great senator. it's one of the things that made him so good as secretary of state. >> i think john kerry was a
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good, strong secretary of state. in a way, it's a job he had been preparing for his entire life, so it's not a surprise. i personally think he deserved the nobel peace prize for the iran nuclear deal. >> the one thing that i really admire about john is he wasn't afraid to fail, and you can't be an effective secretary of state unless you are willing to take on the hard issues. you can't sit back and say, i'm not going to take that on because it might not succeed. john took on all the difficult issues. >> he had a lot of colleagues who served with us. we developed friendships. there's only a handful you develop special friendships with. i think everyone i know can describe a friendship they've had like that. if you had one like that, you are a very rich person indeed. i feel like a very rich person because of my friendship with john. >> without question, his
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dedication as a public servant and his diehard optimism that we can make this world a better place and that we can help people truly have better lives, has completely altered my personal career choice and the path that i've taken. >> thank you, john, for all you have done for this commonwealth and for this nation. i have been so proud to call you my senator, to call you my secretary of state, and i am so happy to call you my friend. [applause] mrs. kennedy: one more minute. one more minute. [applause] mrs. kennedy: one more minute. yes, john is my friend, and he was teddy's friend, too.
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and though teddy's voice is missing in that video, we feel his presence in our hearts and in our memories tonight. during the presidential campaign of 2004, i had the great fortune of traveling around the country and witnessing firsthand the sheer joy of the ted and john show. i saw two men who were much more than colleagues. they were dear and close friends. they shared a bond, an unbreakable bond of friendship, forged by love and respect. i will never forget teddy's poignant description of meeting young vietnam veteran john kerry on the mall in d.c. in 1971. teddy vividly described how one of them was tall, and thin, and handsome, with dark hair, and then my husband paused and said, "that was me."
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i don't know who laughed harder, teddy or john. and then i had the privilege of hearing the joy and, dare i say, pride in teddy's voice as he went on to describe john's qualities as a leader and a man of courage and conviction. perhaps the best way i can pay tribute to john kerry tonight is in ted kennedy's own words about him. he said, "i have known john kerry as a soldier, as a peacemaker, as senator, and as friend. he understands that america's strength comes from the power of our ideas. he knows that a true leader inspires hope and vanquishes fear. he is someone committed to heal, to build, to hope, and to dream again." tonight, john kerry is the first recipient of the edward m.
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kennedy institute lifetime achievement award. there could be no one more deserving. john, i'm thrilled and honored to present this award to you now. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome him now, my friend, our friend, john kerry. [applause] [cheers and applause]
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sec. kerry: i don't want to do to that what teddy did to mya. [laughter] sec. kerry: i, uh, honestly don't know where to begin. except with the most profoundly touched and personal thank you to you, vicki, to the whole family, the kennedy family, to the board, to the institute and all that it means, but to all of you who have come here tonight. i mean, i don't really process that you are talking about me, to be honest with you. it's sort of -- there is a disconnect, in a way, but everybody's words tonight were just the kindest and most heartfelt and most profoundly
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touching, personal honoring of a lifetime of effort, to try to be true to principles, and to try to live up to the highest standards of public service. and this state has set that standard, so i am deeply, deeply honored and grateful. i will overlook the fact that i had to rise from mitch mcconnell's seat tonight. [laughter] [applause] sec. kerry: but i know it's all right, because elizabeth and eddie are over there, too. [laughter] sec. kerry: so, you know, this is an extraordinary edifice. before i start talking about it, i just want to say a few -- single out a few folks, if i may.
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i would like to ask -- you know, all of us in public service are where we are because, yes, we want to serve and we want to somehow make a difference and contribute, but it doesn't just work that way. people have to join up. there's a lot of hard work, as all of you know. and i want to ask, first, all those of you here who worked with me in the senate or in the campaign, if i could ask you to stand up, and i would like everybody here to say thank you to you, first. would you do that, please? [applause] sec. kerry: now, if i may, i would like to also -- because we were a family. we really were a team.
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we had our moments where one staff or another had a different view about how we ought to do something, and even teddy and i had a difference on one issue or another, but in the 26 years that we were -- by the way, we were the second-longest living, uh, senior-junior act in washington. [laughter] sec. kerry: and we were second to strom thurmond and chris hollings. [laughter] sec. kerry: so, we looked at that in a very special way, i want you to know. and teddy and i both, you know, we kept saying, god, look at strom. there's hope. [laughter] sec. kerry: but it was really a special relationship. and indeed, vicki is absolutely correct. as we barnstormed through iowa and through new hampshire, we 'd get into this routine which was just plain fun. it really was fun.
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and teddy would inevitably get up there and go on about, to paraphrase vicki, he'd say "you know, we have this great senator with us today. he's strong, he's tall, he's vigorous, he's charismatic. but enough about me." [laughter] sec. kerry: and then we would go back and forth. we both worked out a way to make it work. and people loved it. they loved teddy. my god, they loved teddy in iowa, i've got to tell you. they loved him everywhere he went. he would stir them up and get everybody rowsed and energized. i have no doubt about it that teddy kennedy and vicki, you two were an enormous part of that great victory in iowa, which was a lot of fun. i want to ask that family, that staff, all those of you, a whole bunch of folks -- everybody who worked for teddy kennedy, please
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stand up. i want everybody to be able to say thank you to them. every. body. barbara, paul -- senator paul kirk. absolutely. [applause] sec. kerry: great, great group. >> great, great group. i tell you, i learned an enormous amount from teddy. when you saw that last picture up there, there was an inscription on it, which i have on my desk to this day. i made extra copies of it so it's around me different places. but teddy gave it to me. this was right after we had walked out of the senate chamber at the swearing-in, and we were going over to the reception. teddy sent it to me. he wrote on it, "this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship." [laughter] secretary kerry: and i think he once wrote, "we can always have paris," but there was a different meaning. [laughter]
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secretary kerry: anyway, at his services, i told you the wonderful story about how they were in indian country and they went for a great blessing, the feather blessing. and in the middle of the ceremony, vanessa is standing there very rigid and teddy is standing there very rigid and the chief is moving around. and teddy leans down to vanessa and says, "i think we just got married." [laughter] secretary kerry: so, we had fun. the bottom line is, folks, teddy knew how to have fun. he took life -- he took things seriously, but never so seriously that he forgot the human side of all of this. and i learned a lot from that. i really did learn a lot. vicki, thank you for your stunning stewardship of this institute and the dream that i know teddy had about it. i remember sitting down with both of you and talking about his vision of it.
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you and the board and all of you have delivered in the most magnificent way. you should be very proud. i know teddy would be elated with the way in which this institute is going to inspire young people to come and to serve. we also have here tonight a group of ambassadors that i was privileged to work with. you all know who they are. they are great friends of massachusetts. they have contributed to our lives in so many different ways, but i want to recognize them very quickly if i can. the ambassadors, including to st. james, spain, cuba, my brother-in-law and longtime college friend, who served as ambassador to italy, and, finally, and you all know her really well, caroline kennedy schlossberg, who did a brilliant job in japan.
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we are so happy you are all here. thank you very, very much. [applause] secretary kerry: i also want to thank the mayor. i did vote for him the other day. and our former colleague. thank you for your friendship and all the work we did together in a short time. [applause] secretary kerry: i also want to single out a very special friend of mine. we have gotten to know each other really well. we've been sailing together. we've had a lot of fun in washington. his wife was just with me in malta, where i attended the ocean conference, which i started as secretary of state. we held them in washington and one in chile, up until now, but i'm proud to tell you that what we began as the first
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international effort on oceans is now continued this year by the europeans in malta, next year by the indonesians in bali, the year after by the norwegians in norway, and the year after that, we just learned tonight, that the pacific island state, and the year after that, the russians are now seeking to do it. oceans is on the map globally and we can be very proud of that. [applause] secretary kerry: eddie and elizabeth, thank you for your brilliant continued service in the best traditions of teddy and of massachusetts. i just can't thank you enough for your over-the-top comments , both of you, tonight, but i will take them both. i loved it. thank you so much. everybody here loves what you are doing. thank you. [applause]
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secretary kerry: i want to thank my family, needless to say, who -- everybody here knows politics. you all know politics really well. vicki is surrounded by family here. teddy junior, i know your dad is so proud of what you are doing. it is only just beginning. we all know that. patrick, you are putting a difficult issue on the map. you are so dedicated to it. a different path, but we are so honored by that. [applause] secretary kerry: and joe and matt, the dynamic team, nothing but great challenges ahead, and you are doing a brilliant job down there. i loved what you said about health care. i couldn't agree more about the sermon on the mount being the guideline to so many of us who
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were raised with that ethic and you're carrying it on in the best tradition, so thank you for that. in terms of my family, i'm very blessed because you can't do this without the support of family. i think all of you know that. it's hard. i can remember doing homework from the pay phone with alexandra or calling vanessa to find out about college or boyfriend or whatever the challenge of the moment was. [laughter] secretary kerry: she is hiding. she is cringing. her husband is sitting beside her, too. but they are doing such brilliant work, vanessa and brian. brian is a neurosurgeon doing brilliant work. vanessa is a physician focusing so much more on building global health care capacity in countries, five of them in africa, with some 20 countries knocking on the door and trying to get in. and i'm proud of both of them
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and what they do. [applause] secretary kerry: and proud of my daughter, alexandra, who is not able to be here. she has gone out to california. she is involved in the film industry and has never met harvey weinstein, so don't worry about that. [laughter] secretary kerry: but she is out there doing business with two of my grandchildren and i'm very blessed with them and with julian. and finally, but not finally, not last that all, because she captured the hearts of people all around the country, i have so many people i still go out with, when i go somewhere in the nation, who talk to me about my wife and about how she affected them with her independence, with her courage, with her willingness to stand up and tell it like it is. and you all got to know her pretty darn well. but she makes so many contributions in so many ways. she is leaving here late tonight
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to go back to pittsburgh, head up what their foundation is doing with 6000 people coming for a three-day conference on the environment. she doesn't quit either. teresa heinz-kerry. [applause] secretary kerry: one last thing, forgive me -- if i start down the road, i know i'm in serious trouble. but one of the groups that just -- you talk about loyalty and you talk about flag and country and your willingness to stand up and be counted. i've never had a group of friends as strong and as there for you, as loyal as the firefighters of the united states. [applause]
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secretary kerry: stand up. thanks, friend. god bless you. [applause] secretary kerry: i want you to look around here. it's really strange to stand here in the well of the united states senate. we wouldn't speak from the well. you would if you were involved in an impeachment process. [laughter] [applause] secretary kerry: but we are not at this moment. and, uh, but it's a privilege to be able to speak to you, and i just have to keep thinking, hoping this door doesn't open and ted cruz doesn't rush out. [laughter]
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secretary kerry: but this is an amazing place that vicki and the institute have created. and i want you to know that this replica of the united states senate is so accurate that you can close your eyes and actually hear the republican senators whispering about donald trump. [laughter] secretary kerry: try that. try that. and they know exactly what i'm talking about. a whole lot of kids have been able to come in here and been able to act out what it's like to be a united states senator. it's so realistic, folks, that 15 times this year, they failed to repeal obamacare. [laughter] [applause] secretary kerry: in fact, three of them announced that they are not going to run for reelection. and one of them called the white house "an adult day care center." [applause]
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secretary kerry: in deference to my colleagues who are serving, i will not carry this further. but -- [laughter] secretary kerry: but it's real when i tell you that this chamber brings back a lot of memories. i started out number 99, way up over there. jay rockefeller was to my left. mitch mcconnell was in our class. he is the only remaining member from the class that i came in with in 1985. and slowly, i worked my way over. teddy was sitting right up there in the empty seat that's in the middle there, right beside jerry. and i know i speak for everybody here when i say that i'm sure each of us have shared a moment of deja vu, where there was a
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nostalgia that made us think that, somehow, we had heard a great, big laughter, that booming voice that represented the lion of the united states senate. we missed him from day one of late august, 2009, but i think never has he been missed more than in these last 10 months when more than ever we have reason to ask, what would teddy have done? now, many say that, in their entire lives, they've never seen a moment like this in our country. this is a dangerous time. it's a really dangerous time. it's a dangerous time because of the things we are not deciding, the things that aren't being done. it's a dangerous time because of the things that other people are doing or that mother nature is doing because of other things we
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have done over a period of time. but it is a dangerous time. there is nothing normal about this moment. but a number of us here are old enough to have seen a movie somewhat like this. maybe even a time or two. watching ken burns' brilliant series on "vietnam" on pbs these last weeks, i was reminded exactly what teddy did when we faced a moment not unlike this one, when it seemed like the country was coming apart. after the navy, as you know, i came home to a country at war with itself. it was a time of division and people were attacked for speaking their mind. i felt compelled to speak out against the war, because those men on my crew, both boats, came
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back here, sharing a belief that we were blessed enough that every day was extra. we lived by that motto. it liberates you. it really does. it frees you up to say what you think. we used to have a saying over there. if we got into trouble or we were doing something kind of stretching the rules a little bit, we would say, what can they do to us? send us to vietnam? we were liberated there. let me tell you something, we have been even more liberated since we returned. i felt compelled then to speak out against war. i'd lost some very good friends -- sawaw this really viscerally what ken burns showed over the course of those 18 hours. i thank the bank of america for having the courage to help bring that to america. i felt compelled --
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[applause] secretary kerry: but despite how legitimate i felt in making the comments that i made at the time and drawing the conclusions that i drew, i still was, nonetheless a little taken aback by the personal nature of richard nixon's assault on me and others. and i have to tell you something. this is a total aside. i was angry when i came back. i was even angrier after i read neil sheehan's brilliant book "bright shining lie," but i have to tell you i was even angrier the other day when i read about the treason of a president of the united states who engaged in the conduct that prolonged a war for the purpose of his election when he was a mere candidate and interfered with what lyndon johnson and the people were trying to do in a legitimate peace process. that is one of the most egregious abuses of power we have ever seen in our country, and it should motivate people to
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do whatever they can now to hold this government accountable, because the american people have a right to expect that. [applause] secretary kerry: so, in april, 1971, i was among thousands of veterans, a few of them are here, some with long hair and beards, and most in fatigues. some singing protest songs. some waving the american flag. some who felt alienated from the very country that they went to defend. all of us encamped on the mall in washington, trying to make our government finally listen to the men that they had sent off to fight and die in southeast asia. the nixon white house was threatening to arrest all of us, and we were under surveillance. we were literally having debates and discussions amongst ourselves about whether we would
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stay on the mall or whether that was the best way to try to reach america. because we were, after all, trying to build support, not push people away. how do we get through to america was a question we debated. some even wondered whether we should go somewhere else, but we didn't. we took a democratic oath, every -- democratic vote, every soldier there voted, and they all voted to stay on that mall and reach the country by making it clear that we had earned the right to protest. and i will never forget -- [applause] senator kerry: i will never forget how senators and congressmen who had opposed the war in speeches weren't too sure who these guys really were or whether they wanted to affiliate with them. they didn't dare come down to the mall and have our backs at first.
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but, no surprise to anybody in this chamber tonight, among the first to show up was senator ted kennedy. he spent hours just listening to us, showing his complete solidarity with us. he visited again at night, no cameras, nobody around. he came down and sat in a tent, shared a little wine with a few guys, talked, listened. it was the best debrief you could have had on the war in vietnam. and soon, other senators followed him. and then the way was clear for us to testify before the senate and tell the country what was happening in vietnam. but it was ted who was the first to break the ice and make it clear veterans had a right to speak. if richard nixon tried to remove us, they would have had to tackle some senators, too. what would teddy do today? he'd do exactly what he did then. he would stand firm on
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principle, not just in defense of a position, but in defense of an institution called the united states senate, which was designed by the framers of our constitution to meet the toughest of times, and it has. not by standing still, not by acquiescing, but by standing up to those who would damage our country. and if there were ever a moment for the senate to be the senate again, this is it. in this last year, our discourse, if it could even be called that, in the supposedly greatest democracy on the face of the planet, our discourse rose to a new level of the mean and the outrageous, the coarse and the ugly. the public dialogue has become no dialogue at all, just some
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shouting match alienating citizens across the board, right, left, center, all of whom yearn for something better. we seem trapped in a kind of political pinball machine where, as a country, we careen from flipper to flipper, bouncing off insults and , where down is up and up is down and white is black and black is white, and nothing means anything more to anybody and words just don't carry the truth that they used to. well, a democracy relies on free speech, yes, it does, but you know as well as i do, it relies even more on that speech being truthful. how many times have we been reminded that it is the truth that sets us free? in speeches and in the scriptures.
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it is the truth that affirms the -- beyond any doubt there is no such thing as alternative facts, folks, and it is the truth that this is not a normal time. it is not normal to feed your country a daily dose of your own reality that, each day, is proven false, whether it's a crowd size with a photo that proves dispositively or whether it's the burden of the paris agreement, which is, in fact, no burden at all. it is not normal to demonize immigrants who have built our country and defended our freedom. even as american cities are underwater from extreme storms and large parts of our countryside are ravaged by fires due to drought, it's not normal to rip up the work of 169 nations over 26 years to save our planet from climate change,
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which isn't just real. it's proving to be more and more deadly. last year at election time, november 8, 2016, i was on an airplane flying down to antarctica. and, yes, when i got the results, i thought about staying down there. [laughter] secretary kerry: but i didn't, obviously. i went to antarctica because i listened, because, as secretary, i was told by the scientists that i visited in norway and greenland, you have to go to antarctica if you really want to understand what's happening with climate change. after seeing a fjord in greenland, which sits on rock, therefore all the ice does not displace water today -- everything that melts is increased displacement. i saw a fjord in which, every single day, 86 million metric tons of ice is falling off into the ocean, floating out to melt.
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86 million metric tons is enough water every day to take care of all of the greater new york city for an entire year. every day. in miami, the mayor is raising roads because, on sunny days, high tides now come over the city. here in boston, you heard the mayor. we have a seawall and on a sunny day at a high tide, certain times, water will come over the top. why does this matter? because the oceans, which we are now starting to focus on, actually produce 51% of the oxygen we breathe. life itself depends on this. and the greenhouse effect itself is not some scientific thing that suddenly got made up. the greenhouse gas itself, the greenhouse effect, is the reason we have a mean temperature of 57
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degrees now higher on this planet. we can't live without a greenhouse effect. that's how we know it works. over 169 nations came together, signed this agreement, and without any evidence, without any science, without any reality to his accusation that there is a burden put on america -- there is no burden at all, because the way we got everybody to agree was that each country designed its own plan and no country put in a plan that they weren't able to achieve, including the united states of america. one of the great lies to the american people of these last months is the basis for the so-called withdrawal from paris. i'm proud to tell you something, folks. 38 states in the united states of america passed renewable portfolio laws. 29 have passed them, eight of them have voluntary ones, but they have all agreed they are
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going to continue to do that. what does that mean? those 38 states constitute 80% of the population of the united states of america. so, donald trump may have pulled out of the paris agreement, but i've got news for donald trump. that 80% and more than 90 mayors and 38 states are committed to stay in the paris agreement and we will achieve those and more. [applause] secretary kerry: it's also not normal to attack reporters for doing their job in the nation that invented the free press. it's not normal to turn your back on diplomacy that united the world against the nuclear threat when your own cabinet, your own allies, the iaea, the international atomic energy agency, and the world say it is working.
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preventing a nuclear arms race in the middle east. i've got news for you. this deal has shattered because congress, ando malevolent intent in congress is trying to take away the deal by the back door, passing such extreme measures that iran can't stay in it and it falls apart of its own weight. guess what? turkey will have a bomb. egypt will have a bomb. saudi arabia will have a bomb, and iran will start moving toward enrichment again. what is the rationale that suggests you are better going back to where we were when we know what the world was like when we were where we were? we know what happens with no deal. they were at 12,000 kilograms, two months from a breakout. they had a plutonium reactor
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ready to commission, which would have reduced plutonium, weapons grade material, enough for two bombs per year -- that's what it's like without the deal. how in god's name is this country safer without this agreement? it is not normal to override your own cabinet, your own military advisors, and everybody else, and throw this in some cowardly fashion to the congress and ask political people to mess it up even further. and i trust that congress will stand up and do what's right. [applause] secretary kerry: and, by the way, if that's the president's "art of the deal," we all understand why he declared bankruptcy six times. think about it. there is no art in that deal. i will tell you why. if you are iran, if you are the supreme leader and nobody knows those intricacies better than a few of us who negotiated this over time, the supreme leader was extraordinarily suspect of
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even dealing with the united states. and it was because rouhani and syriza pleaded and pulled him that he finally gave his blessing, but he said i don't trust the united states. can you imagine now what happens in his mind and the mind of the hard-liners in iran who not only say to themselves, now we have a reason that we know why we have to have a bomb, which is precisely what kim jong-un is saying in north korea? this step by the president makes it harder also to negotiate with north korea because it reinforces the lack of american credibility and the lack of america's willingness to keep a deal. it doesn't work. [applause] secretary kerry: there's also, obviously, nothing normal -- actually, there's something cruel and cynical about stripping away health care from
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the neediest americans, without any plan to replace what they have or provide for those who don't have anything. ironically, in his myopic zeal to attack all things obama, president trump has actually -- is actually raising the cost for many of the very people who voted for him. what he's doing is not only not normal, it's a cruel attack on the fundamental values of the united states of america, and there is nothing normal about what's happening, nothing presidential about it either. 65 years ago, teddy's brother, president of the united states jack kennedy, banned the testing of nuclear weapons so that, never again would the world come so close to mutual destruction. today, in service of a campaign promise, donald trump bans not
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the testing of nuclear arms, but focuses on the travel of muslims, and he says -- he actually said this. and this is part of the struggle that the secretary of state has had over this question, the blowup over at the pentagon. because the president is arguing that we should have 10 times the number of nuclear weapons that we have today. the president says he's strong. he, the president, is strong because he wants this. well, i've got news for you. medical professionals say he is compensating. and here is the bitter irony of his so-called leadership. on paris, we know that we are going to keep it, so, in the end, donald trump can pull out, but we actually wind up staying in. on iran, he criticizes it, talks about getting out, winds up turning around and throwing it
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to the congress and is even more irresponsible because he leaves it up to the vagaries of politics and whatever movement might gain a foothold, rather than whatever strategy ought to be implemented. that, my friends, when you're dealing with nuclear weapons, is about as dangerous as it gets. i say this -- and i think you know me on this. i've had four years of being secretary of state. i'm not saying this to be partisan or political. and i know that the institutions that our founders created to keep america strong and together have always worked best in times like these when america needed them the most. we need them to work now like never before. i will share with you something else that teddy taught us, which is important to where we go with this.
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he learned it in a journey, obviously, of both triumph and tragedy, through which he managed to find a path that was so clear, where he always showed up to fight and did his duty in the fights that needed fighting. and he taught us, a lot of us, how much better and stronger our country could be if we could come together as a country to focus on the long-term for the special purpose, a national purpose that is absent today. it's a focus that is deprived of all oxygen by the fight that's going on in washington. and the reason is that we are stuck trying to prove or disprove the crazy proposition that two and two is five, while
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we're fighting mostly a huge amount of energy being expended just to hold on to the truths that we long ago established. we're living in an age when far more is at stake, folks. it's hard to emphasize that enough. and we aren't even scratching the surface of what needs to be done on behalf of our nation and on behalf of this planet. that's what i find the hardest thing to deal with right now. there is a struggle for the future. there are two billion kids between the ages of 15 and 24 today in the world, and about 400 million of them are not going to go to school at any time. when i was with the foreign minister in an african country, with a 40% muslim minority, i asked him, how do you manage that minority?
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what are you thinking about the long-term? and he described for me how extremists grab these young kids who are 13 and 14 years old and they proselytize to them and they pay them a stipend. and then they don't need any stipend anymore. they are fully indoctrinated. they go out and become the recruiters. he said, you know what? those guys have a 35-year plan. we don't even have a five-year plan. that sentence has stayed with me every day since the day i heard it, and everything that i thought about as we put together a coalition to fight isil, as we redefined the battle against extremism. there are 1.8 billion kids who are 15 years old or younger. and if they don't see opportunity in a world where they have a smart phone and can see what everybody else has and can communicate -- if they don't begin to get a chance to share
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in the future, to have a say in their own countries, then we inherit the downside of that. that's part of the reason we are in afghanistan, a war that should end, but we're there for a counterterrorism platform, because that is the ungoverned space from which our country was attacked and people fear that could happen yet again. so, my friends, this is a complicated time and this is complicated stuff. nobody knows that better than joe and elizabeth and people who are wrestling with this on a daily basis, but they don't get to wrestle with it in the reality, the world we are living in now, because of what just happened to washington and to the presidency. we're engaged in a struggle for the future and the challenges we are not confronting, the issues that we are not confronting, -- we are not facing, the questions to me people are not even asking, that's where we
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need to shake the world free from its slumber and wrestle with what's really coming at us. because not only do we have to care about that group of people that make up the potential pool of extremism and terrorism in some parts of the world, we have a problem here at home, where a whole bunch of people are so angry because they're separated from the process, they don't believe in governance, they don't believe in their leaders. and they are angry. and we have to establish the credibility to do both. i leave you with a thought. the last big project i can think of in america, in which we were building something where we were dreaming, was the big dig. jerry brown's trying to build a high-speed rail system out in california. most people don't even know about it. it should be something that we are doing as a national project, not just there, but on the east coast, to rebuild the country.
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much of the world right now, my friends -- and i saw this -- i'm grateful to my country and grateful to the president for giving me the job to be able to see this up close and personal. 1.4 million miles, 91, 92 countries -- i don't remember the number. but i will tell you, the world is riding a wave of technological transformation on the scale of the industrial revolution, only it is happening at a digital pace. and country after country, ideas are moving faster, people are moving faster, the marketplace is moving faster. the only thing that isn't coming at us faster and faster is government playing constructive role in trying to help the private sector to do what needs to be done. i don't believe government is in the end going to make this difference, to be truthful with you. government is critical to doing it, but it's the private sector that actually is going to break through.
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because that's where the capital is and it takes capital to do what we need to do. during this tectonic shift in the workplace, too many people have been left behind in our country. there's a brilliant story in "the new york times," i think it was today, talking about a woman in indiana who struggled, lost her job at a ball bearing factory, and what happened is deprivation played out. millions of americans know right now that we can do better than we are doing now, better than we have done in these last bitter years. because our history has proven that we can do better time and time again. after sputnik, president kennedy summoned the nation to that kind of a challenge. and, guess what? he said we've got to reach that audacious goal before a decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth. within 12 years, the united states, by committing research
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and by committing all of us together, made that happen. and guess what? there were no partisan divisions that blocked the doing of that. there was unflagging determination, daring. we moved immediately to put unprecedented levels of research and development, technology and engineering into the effort. back then, democrat and republican had deep disagreements on a lot of issues, but they also shared an even deeper commitment to stand together for the strength and success of our country. and for them, american exceptionalism, which is so important -- don't you get a little bit tired seeing politicians run around, talking about how exceptional we are all the time? i can tell you, i would hear it from people in other countries all the time. you guys love to beat your own drum, but have you passed a budget? what are you able to do? what are you building? it's a question we should be asking ourselves. and i believe in american exceptionalism, folks, but i
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will tell you, we are not exceptional because we run around beating our chests and saying we are. we are exceptional because we do exceptional things. [applause] secretary kerry: that's the difference. so, i would just close by saying to all of you that's what we have to get back to. this is so obvious. this is not complicated to figure out. i think everyone of you understands that. it's the politics that get tough, but the decisions that we make or fail to make right now on new energy sources, on education, on infrastructure, on technology, on research -- all of which will produce the jobs of the future and our decision on deficits and entitlements, without doubt -- these are the things that are going to decide whether or not we continue to lead the world or whether or not the world just gives up on us
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and moves further into a different place and we are left to follow in the wake of others or are less prosperous in our own land. again and again as secretary of state, i was privileged to see how critical american leadership is. the united states led the effort to put together a coalition against isil. we led the effort on the refugee crisis. every single year we put more american money into that crisis than any other country. we led the effort to arrive on the cusp of now seeing the first generation of children born in africa aids-free for the first time. [applause] secretary kerry: you all remember how it was predicted that 4 million people were going to die from ebola in west africa in a span of four months before christmas several years ago?
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we led the effort to stop ebola in its tracks and prevent that million people from dying over four months, and a mere fraction died because we went over there and built health care capacity and made the difference. i could go on and on, giving you examples of what we do where we are indispensable. i know teddy would summon us to this task with a sense of urgency right now, and i think you do, too. we have to break out of this balkanized, paralyzed politics which have divided us into this patchwork of narrow interests and they have driven the concept of national good far from the national dialogue altogether. so, on issue after issue and during consensus, which did exist, has been frayed. and it's been shredded by a pretty raw lust for power. in donald trump's america, silence is complicity.
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because in the 21st century, where choices and consequences come at us so much faster, the price of inaction is not that we just sort of stand still. the price of inaction is that we are going to stay behind and see the best possibilities of the future to others who are more disciplined and more focused and, at this moment, even more visionary. if teddy were here, he would insist that every single one of us face up to these new challenges, not just as individuals or along party lines, but he would call on us to do it with a national purpose. he would know that we can do it only if we restore a larger sense of responsibility and replace the cacophony of twitter and alternative facts with a genuine discretion of what is best for our country. politics is tough. everybody in this chamber knows politics is tough.
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teddy certainly knew that. we can beat it hard on the playing field. we both knew it was better to be in the majority than the minority, and it's not hard to come to that conclusion. but the truth is that some of the most fiercely independent, plain-talking, direct and determined partisans that i have ever known in the senate have also been the ones who tackled the toughest issues, finding common ground with people that they disagreed on with everything else. that's the difference today. ideology is not new to the american political arena, and ideology isn't unhealthy. the biggest breakthroughs in american politics have been brokered not by the mushy middle, but by splitting the difference, but by people who had a pretty healthy sense of ideology. ted kennedy and orrin hatch were a powerful team precisely
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because they didn't agree on that much and they spent a lot of time fighting each other, and so the senate leaned in and listened on the occasions when, somehow, this ultimate odd couple found things they were willing to fight for together. sometimes, as john kennedy once said, party asks too much. sometimes, a president can also ask too much. and if they do, when they do, both parties have a duty to stand up and reclaim the independence of an institution and the future of the country. that's what i know teddy would be doing, fighting on principle against those who would move america backwards, but always, always working at the same time to find that bipartisan consensus just waiting to lift our country. that is the spirit of this institute. and that's the united states senate that i love and remember and the true spirit of the
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institution that this institute itself is built to defend. nothing less than that, i think, defined teddy's entire approach. fight for the things you believe in, but always fight to try to find a common ground. and nothing less than that should define our country right now. that's the real american exceptionalism, if you want to know the truth. and together with senators and congressmen weighing in as lions all, i hope that we will hear a roar that will once again unite us to do the exceptional things that keep america exceptional for generations to come. i'm so privileged to have received this award, to be part of this extraordinary institution, to be part of this family. i loved teddy.
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and i loved your love story and all you did together to harness ted's unbelievable sense of direction and purpose. and everybody here, i know, feels privileged by the fact that we are part of that journey. and teddy would be the first to tell us tonight that journey is not finished. thank you all very much. [applause] >> congress is back for a busy month ahead. current funding government runs out, the senate returns at 4:00 a.m. eastern. the rest of the week focuses on tax reform as the budget committee works on a new version
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of the bill including oil drilling in the -- and insurance mandate. the full senate is expected to work on the tax reform. wednesday, they consider a resolution requiring anti-harassment and discrimination training for all house members and staff. thursday, members vote to reauthorize the epa's cleanup program. also awaiting action, disaster relief at the request of president trump due to recent hurricanes and wildfires. >> with a busy week for congress, we will have live coverage of two hear ings.
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wednesday, the focus is on alex azar, president trump's pick to replace tom price. the senate health committee will consider his nomination at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. key coverage of two hearings, tuesday and wednesday ,n c-span and c-span3, online or listen live with the free c-span radio app. the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals toward. we recently stopped in baton rouge, louisiana. we asked what is the most important issue. >> the most important issue is the recovery. in baton rouge, we had a historic flood. might district was heavily impacted. my citizens and my district deals with issues -- the --deral government we are having trouble getting
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the families the necessary dollars to recover because of a gram -- they have to deduct the amount they would receive. our recovery has been stalled because of this issue. we have been working with our congressional delegations. it is a tough issue. the most important state issue to me is restoration. our coastline is eroding at a great -- at a wqquick rate. i would like the state to focus on restoring and replenishing, so future generations can see it. >> the most pressing issue we has been our fiscal budget situation. it is not uncommon to other states.
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hourour -- ours is a little unique. taxes will expire in june 2018. the ability to be able to find the solutions, based on the revenue side and expense side. ♪ >> voices from the state, on c-span. >> coming up, q and a with robert mary, followed by "washington journal."


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