Hillary Clinton, the 67th Secretary of State

Secretary of State-Designate Hillary Rodham Clinton is being sworn in
as the next Secretary of State after approval of her nomination.
Her husband and former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, holds the Bible.
State Department Photo by Michael Gross

Senator Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D – Mass.) made the following statement today after an overwhelming 94 – 2 vote by the Senate to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (see confirmation hearing transcript here).

“After healthy debate from both the Foreign Relations Committee and today from the full Senate, I’m pleased and honored to be among the first to call my colleague and dear friend Hillary Clinton ‘Madam Secretary,’” said the Chairman. “Hillary Clinton will do a tremendous job rebuilding our alliances, strengthening our international standing, and advancing America’s interests abroad. I congratulate her on this much-deserved diplomatic role and look forward to working with the State Department and President Obama to restore America’s rightful place in the international arena.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wanted a full Senate debate on the potential for conflicts arising from Bill Clinton’s fundraising for his foundation. The debate was sporadic and reportedly briefer than the three hours allotted. I did not watch the whole thing but did see Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) calling HRC “supremely ready” and that “we need someone with that prestige, with that recognition, with that charisma” in the President’s team. Bob Corker (R-Tenn) jumped in and talked about the economy re: credit market; and the need to solve the root cause of our problems. Thad Cochran (R-Miss) then got on the floor to support HRC and urged that we “expand our diplomatic efforts in search for peace.” Arlen Specter (R-Penn) also came with his support for HRC and diplomacy saying that “talking has paid results,” and that “dialogue is an indispensable first step;” cites Libya’s Khadafi turnaround…

The Senate confirmed HRC in a 94-2 vote yesterday afternoon. Voting against Clinton were Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina and David Vitter of Louisiana. Here’s The Fix, unpacking the reasoning behind the “No” votes.

Hillary Clinton was sworn in as the 67th Secretary of State at 5:29 p.m. by District of Columbia Court of Appeals Associate Judge Kathleen Oberly at a ceremony in her Senate office attended by her Washington staff and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

I’m sure we’ll see 67’s arrival at Foggy Bottom’s reception hall today where State Department employees traditionally welcome the new Secretary of State.

AP reported an hour ago that President Obama will join Hillary Clinton at the State Department today, Thursday, where the two will address department employees. Also, it’s less than 24 hours since her confirmation and the official blog is already buzzing with greetings and comments.