Politics

Kerry jokes that his own speeches cure his jet lag

Sen. John Kerry.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Sen. John Kerry.

As a former presidential candidate, globe-trotting lawmaker, and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry already is a frequent flier.

But nothing he’s done before will prepare him for the travel he will undertake if, as expected, he’s confirmed as secretary of state later this month.

The person currently with the job, Hillary Rodham Clinton, became the most-traveled secretary in history in just four years.

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State Department statistics show she logged 957,000 miles over the course of 401 travel days while visiting 112 countries.

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With that in mind, Kerry’s thoughts carry special weight as the Massachusetts Democrat suggests how he copes with jet lag, as he did in an light-hearted interview with Men’s Journal.

“When I’m flying, I usually take an Ambien and listen to one of my own speeches on my iPod. I’m out in seconds,” he said.

Such remedies, however, can have unintended consequences, the senator explained.

“There was an incident in New Orleans, at Mardi Gras, in 1997. But the video has been destroyed and I gave the beads back,” Kerry said.

Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.