DES MOINES, Jan. 3 Senator John Kerry reached into the past on Saturday with an endorsement and a 10-minute song of tribute from Peter Yarrow, a member of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary.
But the mini-celebrity moment took a turn when Mr. Yarrow, a peace activist since before the two men met protesting Vietnam, was asked if he was disturbed that Mr. Kerry voted in favor of war in Iraq.
"Absolutely!" Mr. Yarrow shouted to a questioner, and he raised his hands to try to command the attention of reporters and Kerry supporters at the police union hall here.
"Let me say this," Mr. Yarrow said. "I fought with John about this. I said, `This is crazy!' "
Asked if the war vote had hurt Mr. Kerry's candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mr. Yarrow responded, "Oh sure, sure."
Mr. Yarrow said that Mr. Kerry told him had seen information that justified the war. "He said, `Peter, I'm on the intelligence committee,' " Mr. Yarrow said. "I know they have weaponry, nuclear weaponry, and I have the absolute assurance they'll go only with the United Nations. He was like everybody else lied to by people who have no honor."
Mr. Kerry's advisers tried to end the scene, telling Mr. Yarrow that the senator was on the bus. Mr. Yarrow started for the door but did an about-face when he saw Mr. Kerry was still in the room.
"John is over there. John is not done talking," Mr. Yarrow said. "Don't try to move me when I'm still talking."
Mr. Yarrow returned and shared his favorite line in the Kerry song: "These bullies now in power echo fascists' great tradition: Keep us scared, create a war and stifle opposition."`
Mr. Kerry said he was not disturbed by the difference of opinion. "He understands my point of view, and I understand his," he said.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company