Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry returned Monday to Massachusetts, where he served 28 years as a U.S. senator.
Kerry tells NBC Boston he would have loved to have stayed at his post.
"It's a great job. I could certainly keep going for a while," he said. "But I'm excited by what we've been able to achieve."
Kerry would like his legacy to include the Paris climate agreement, lifting of sanctions on Cuba, and perhaps most notably, the Iran nuclear deal. All that could be a thing of the past if President-elect Donald Trump does what he has said he will do.
But Kerry isn't giving up on those parts of his legacy just yet.
"There's a great difference between campaigning and governing, we have discovered," Kerry said. "We've already seen many things on which the president-elect has already changed, so let's wait and see how the administration governs. I'm not going to prejudge, I'm not going to get into hypotheticals."
Climate change has been a signature issue for Kerry for decades — on election day, Kerry was on his way to Antarctica to witness the impact it's had on the frozen continent.
"I learned first-hand from the scientists there how fragile everything is and the accelerated pace of change which they are trying to quantify and define," Kerry said. "It's very, very alarming. I mean, ice that is, in some places, three miles deep, but which is unstable today."
He also gave a peak into his post-inauguration plans.
"I'm going to be, you know, a citizen. Citizen Kerry," he said. "I'm going to engage in the private sector activities, but I'm also going to engage in a continuation of my life and my life's work on conflict and peace resolution of conflicts in various places around the world, as well as focused on oceans and climate change."
While Kerry says he has no plans to run for office again, he adds that he hasn't ruled anything out.
He also confirmed that he briefly thought about a 2016 presidential run.
"Very fleetingly, I thought about it when I saw the problems of what was happening in the campaign," he said. "But it was late, and too late, and I never really thought about it in any meticulously serious way."
Kerry has carefully avoided criticism of Trump, citing diplomatic appropriateness.