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John Kerry Looks Back at a Life of Service in 'Every Day is Extra'

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech on Middle East peace at The U.S. Department of State on December 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kerry spoke on the need for a two-state solution and defended the Obama administration's approach to Israel. (Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State and five-term U.S. Senator John Kerry’s new memoir, “Every Day is Extra,” is an expansive account of his life and career on Capitol Hill. From his time in Vietnam to his failed 2004 presidential bid, Kerry offers a personal take on some of his most public moments. He also offers new insight on his diplomatic work, including negotiating the Paris Climate Accord and Iran nuclear deal. Kerry joins Forum to discuss his political career and give his perspective on the current climate in Washington.

John Kerry,
former Secretary of State; five-term U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts; author, “Every Day is Extra”

Show Highlights:

On Climate Deniers in the White House
“It’s insanity. It’s an invitation to join in a suicide pact, which is what this administration is engaging in. People who don’t understand that and who turn their backs on the science are culpable of putting a lot of their fellow citizens in danger.”

On Clean Energy
“The G-20 should lock the door and not come out until they have in the bank more than the $100 billion that’s necessary for the Green Climate Fund to help smaller nations transition to clean energy. We’ve got to stop building coal fired power plants. We’ve got to stop now. I mean there are critical things we could do. But right now we’re on a course to spend trillions of dollars on mitigation and adaptation.”


On the Iran Deal
“There’s no downside in Iran. The downside is Donald Trump getting out of the agreement. The agreement stopped Iran from marching rapidly towards a nuclear weapon. … Any expert in Iran nuclear proliferation issues will tell you this deal is the strongest, single-most demanding, most intrusive and transparent agreement on the planet.”

On Change
“We’re not powerless. That is what my book is about. Honestly I’ve been at this for a long time. And when I came back from Vietnam we all engaged in activities at the grassroots level. And guess what? We made a difference. We elected the Watergate class of 1974. We changed the direction of a lot of legislation, a lot of things in America as a result.”

On Whether He Will Run for President
“I’m personally not excited about hearing about 2020, when we have an election in two months that can be the centerpiece of a great course correction. If we win back the House of Representatives, if we win the United States Senate, the whole game changes. All the possibilities change, and to be getting sucked into the who’s up/ who’s down of 2020 is a ridiculous pastime.”

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