John Kerry approved as Secretary of State

Marion Renault

 

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was formally confirmed by the U.S. Senate this afternoon; he will replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose last day at the State Department is Friday.

Most senators spoke highly of Kerry at the debate on the Senate floor today, according to CBS News

The decision however, was not unanimous. Republican senators Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas voted against the nomination, leaving the final vote at 94-3.

His nomination was announced last month and was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee earlier today.

Kerry has served 28 years in the Senate, is a decorated Vietnam veteran and was the 2004 Democratic nominee for president.

While a welcoming ceremony  is being planned for Monday, Kerry could be sworn in as soon as Friday.

President Obama has also nominated former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, of Nebraska, for secretary of defence; John O. Brennan, Obama’s current counterterrorism advisor, has been nominated for director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Both will face more strenuous confirmation hearings, but their nominations are expected to be approved.

According to the NY Times, even the FRC’s ranking Republican said he was "happy" for Kerry's good fortune.”

"I know a lot of people think… that sometimes we can't be happy for someone on the other side of the aisle when they do well, and nothing could be further from the truth," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. "I don't know of anybody who's lived a life that has been more oriented towards ultimately being Secretary of State than John Kerry. And for that, I also am happy for him and his family and the fact that very soon he's going to be able to express himself on behalf of our nation in this way."