WASHINGTON -- With his 2008 presidential ambitions ended, Sen. John Kerry said Thursday he’s eager to plunge into his Senate re-election bid and his push to end the war in Iraq.
"I’m incredibly energized and optimistic," Kerry said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Thursday. "This is not a sayonara. This is a new chapter, a new moment."
The senator said his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, fully supports his decision to focus on his Senate career and ending the war in Iraq.
"She wanted me to do what I wanted to do," he said. Kerry and his wife have co-authored a book about the environment called "This Moment on Earth" coming out in about six weeks.
Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, also said he met in recent days with his top fundraisers and the overwhelming majority of them were urging him to run.
"I’d say nine-tenths of them said, ’Run,’" Kerry said. "I felt it was just the wrong time."
Kerry, 64, in his fourth six-year term, announced his decision not to run for the White House again in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday. He said he wanted to devote is full energies to ending the war. He faces re-election in 2008.
Polls showed Kerry trailing the Democratic presidential pack. A botched joke by Kerry last fall as the midterm elections closed was branded by Republicans as an insult to U.S. troops in Iraq, causing him to delay a decision on 2008.