US senate confirm John Kerry as next secretary of state
By Meena Haseeb - Wed Jan 30 2013, 9:11 am
John Kerry’s nomination as President Barack Obama’s new secretary of state sailed through the US Senate on Tuesday, as his fellow senators voted overwhelmingly to confirm him to replace Hillary Clinton as the country’s top diplomat.
The Senate voted 94-3 on Tuesday in favour of Kerry, after the chamber’s Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination earlier in the day.
Voting against Kerry’s nomination were Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.
The Senate’s approval sets in motion a special election for Kerry’s Massachusetts Senate seat. The five-term senator and losing presidential candidate in 2004 is expected to be sworn later this week.
Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations committee, said before the roll call that a heavy vote for Kerry would send a “strong message” to the rest of the world that he had the firm backing of the entire United States.
Kerry voted “present,” in the vote for his promotion. Kerry will take office in the shadow left by outgoing Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who was praised by President Obama as “one of the finest secretary of states we’ve had,” on the TV show “60 Minutes” earlier this week.
Hillary Clinton, 65, is expected to leave her post on Friday, amid swirling speculation about whether she will run for the presidency in 2016. For now, she has said only that she is looking forward to some rest after four gruelling years.