By H. Darr Beiser, USAToday
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
John Kerry returned to the Democratic convention tonight, this time to praise the foreign policy of President Obama.
Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, told delegates that Obama has revived America's reputation in the world, and that Republican rival Mitt Romney would return the nation to the turmoil of the George W. Bush years.
"An exceptional nation ... demands the leadership of an exceptional president," said Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "And, my fellow Americans, that president is Barack Obama."
Kerry's speech may have been a quasi-audition for the job of secretary of State, should Obama win a second term. The current secretary, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has indicated she wants to leave after the election.
One other note: Kerry is set to play Romney in mock debates with Obama.
Kerry, who endorsed Obama early in his 2008 nomination race against Mrs. Clinton, said Obama "inherited disaster and disarray" from Bush, yet has forged an excellent record.
His list included ending the war in Iraq, winding down the war in Afghanistan, sanctions on Iran, the removal of Moammar Gadhafi from power in Libya, and the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Mocking a Republican election line, Kerry drew his biggest applause by saying: "Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago."
Kerry also defended Obama against Republican claims that he is not dedicated enough to Israel's security.
Romney, meanwhile, "doesn't know much about foreign policy," Kerry said, but has "neo-con" advisers who "know all the wrong things about foreign policy."
Mocking one of his own gaffes from the 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry also said Romney has too often changed positions on issues like Afghanistan and Libya, and added: "Talk about being for it before you were against it!"
He added: "Mr. Romney, here's a little advice: Before you debate Barack Obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself!"
Romney is "out of touch at home, out of his depth abroad and out of the mainstream," Kerry said, while Obama is giving "new life and truth to America's indispensable role in the world."