Kerry to star as Democrats tout Obama’s national security record

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

Vice President Joe Biden has a bumper-sticker line to make the pitch for President Barack Obama's re-election: "Osama bin Laden is dead, and GM is alive." Now comes word that the Democratic National Convention will spotlight Obama's national security record in a segment next week starring Sen. John Kerry.

Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War combat veteran and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a reliable and vocal defender of Obama's handling of world affairs. His name routinely comes up in discussions about who will be secretary of state if Obama wins re-election (Hillary Clinton has said she plans to leave if there is a second term).

The senator from Massachusetts will deliver a speech on the last night of the convention, during a portion devoted to national security. The evening will also include "a tribute to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces," according to campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher.

The events aim to spotlight "the significant role President Obama's strong record on national security and veterans issues—from ending the war in Iraq responsibly, to refocusing on al-Qaeda and decimating its leadership, to taking care of our men and women in uniform when they return home," said Fetcher. Those themes will recur throughout the convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Public opinion polls show that Obama generally gets higher marks than Republican rival Mitt Romney on the question of who would better handle national security and foreign policy. Kerry hasn't shied away from pressing that point, publicly taking his fellow Massachusetts politician to task on world affairs. (The New York Times and The Boston Globe have both reported on the convention segment and Kerry's role.)