John Kerry Confirmed As Secretary Of State


JK

As expected, Senator John Kerry was approved by the Senate as the new Secretary of State by a vote of 94-3.  There is no question John Kerry is qualified for the position, having headed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the past four years.  In his farewell speech to his fellow Senators, with voice quivering, he urged for bipartisan cooperation.  “The political process works only when leaders are willing to listen”, he said.  A dozen Democrats and a handful of Republicans listened to Kerry as he stood near his desk; one used by both John F Kennedy and his brother, Edward Kennedy.  He thanked his staff and his wife and spoke about the institution.  “Congress faces three main challenges, “the decline of civility, the corrupting force of campaign money and the  disregard for facts.”  He continued by saying he was, “closing a chapter, not the final one.”  Before concluding he spoke of President George Herbert Walker Bush and how he agreed to raise taxes despite the fact he realized it might mean he would be a one term President.  “He did what he thought was right.  That’s courage.”  At the conclusion of his speech those in gallery stood up and applauded.  Senator Patrick Leahy D-VT hugged him.  Other Senators shook his hand and wished him well.    Earlier in the day, Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick selected a former top aide, William Cowan, to serve as interim Senator, until a special election is held to fill Kerry’s seat.  Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan will swear in Kerry on Friday, in a private ceremony.

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