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January 20, 2018

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Kerry comes out swinging,but this time for Obama

Obama in Vegas

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama speaks at the Culinary Union Local 226 headquarters in downtown Las Vegas Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008. Launch slideshow »

Face to Face: Barack Obama

Can U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (Illinois-D) persuade voters he's the candidate for change in the Democratic race for president? Jon asks Obama about his campaign in an encore broadcast.

Encore broadcast from June 1, 2007, aired Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007.

— “Face to Face with Jon Ralston” is a news interview program of the Las Vegas Sun that appears on Las Vegas ONE (COX Cable channel 19), the all-news cable channel that is a joint operation of Cox Communications, KLAS-Channel 8 and the Sun.

Audio Clip

  • Sheila Leslie, Nevada assemblywoman, talks about Barack Obama's opinion on education for minorities

More on the Candidates

Sen. John Kerry no doubt has some advice for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, whom he just endorsed in the presidential race.

But the Massachusetts senator isn’t saying what the advice is. “That’s private,” he said in an interview.

The advice isn’t hard to discern: Kerry was quick to counterpunch for Obama after his chief opponent, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, landed some blows.

“I think any effort to suppress the vote in the Democratic Party, any effort to limit access to polling places, is not the future of the Democratic Party. It’s old politics and it’s inappropriate,” he said, referring to a lawsuit filed by Clinton allies to shut down special caucus sites on the Strip.

Kerry then defended Obama’s record on the nuclear repository project at Yucca Mountain, which Obama opposes. Clinton’s attacks on Obama, saying he’s aligned with supporters who favor the dump, are disingenuous, Kerry said.

“It’s the kind of politics I expect from the other party, not ours,” he said.

Hit back.

Lesson learned, apparently.

Kerry pointed to some rather unexciting senators who, in recent days, have endorsed Obama: Tim Johnson, Kent Conrad and Ben Nelson.

Though the three are perhaps unknown to most Nevadans, Kerry makes this point: They’re all red-state senators: “savvy political leaders who know how to get elected in a tough environment,” he said.

They’re in the type of states Kerry couldn’t win in 2004.

Another lesson learned.

Kerry likes to point out he chose to make Obama the keynoter at the 2004 convention, where Obama gave a now-famous speech about American unity that launched his career.

“He offers the best opportunity to unite the country, bring people together -- Democrats, independents and Republicans -- and win in November and then govern with a mandate.”

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