Sen. John Kerry to succeed Clinton
Jan 29, 2013 / 7:37 pm
Sen. John Kerry has spent the past four years acting as an unofficial envoy for President Barack Obama, tamping down diplomatic fires around the globe. Now it's official: the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Kerry to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as the top American diplomat.
Tuesday's 94-3 vote to confirm Kerry as secretary of state marked his re-emergence on the world stage, eight years after he went down to defeat in his bid to unseat President George W. Bush.
Both Republicans and Democrats called Kerry the ideal successor to Clinton, who is stepping down after four years. Kerry, 69, the son of a diplomat and a decorated Vietnam veteran, had pined for the job, but was passed over in 2009. He instead became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Obama tasked him with smoothing fractious ties with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Kerry could be sworn in as early as Wednesday. A welcoming ceremony is planned at the State Department on Monday.
"Sen. Kerry will need no introduction to the world's political and military leaders and will begin Day One fully conversant not only with the intricacies of U.S. foreign policy, but able to act on a multitude of international stages," said Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat who will succeed Kerry as committee chairman.
Sen. Bob Corker, the panel's top Republican, called Kerry "a realist" who will deal with unrest in Egypt, civil war in Syria, the threat of al-Qaida-linked groups in Africa and Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
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