Kerry was looking at the President the way Wayne Thomas had been looking at him. You could see the young man closely watching the President for style pointers, maybe even asking him whether he spoke from notes or used a prepared text, or who the five men he most admired were.
But that was a long time ago and John Kerry was only a kid. It was a long time before people began taking to the streets and freaking out on drugs, and a long time before John Kerry saw his friends getting killed in Vietnam, was wounded three times himself, and then threw away his medals on the steps of the capitol.
Much of the style John Kerry learned on that boat still remained, but there were some doubts now. A decade had passed which he said would be "remembered for its losses," and things weren't so simple anymore.
He was a hero in the eyes of the country, but maybe a little less in the eyes of his peers, the guys he served with. The very style which had struck the responsive chord in the media – that Kennedy aura – worked so well that perhaps it was beginning to seem a little too easy. Maybe he was beginning to look a little deeper into the roots of his own success. Maybe he was thinking a lot about Al Hubbard.
Or maybe he was just indulging in the standard politician's ploy of declaring his non-candidacy for office.
, Boston Globe, JFK, Kerry