Lawmakers in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have recommended Sen. John Kerry’s nomination as secretary of state to the full Senate for approval on Tuesday.
Kerry, who heads the committee until leaving the Senate formally, testified last week to his peers regarding his ability to function as the nation’s top diplomat. He is the least controversial of the nominees President Barack Obama has asked the Senate to consider as part of the overhaul of his cabinet. Chuck Hagel, who some believe to be anti-Israel, has been nominated for defense secretary, and John Brennan, who has been criticized as "Mr. Drone," has been selected to serve as CIA director.
Kerry’s confirmation is expected to be smooth sailing; experts have pointed out the Senate doesn’t normally rule against its own. Moreover, with nearly 30 years of service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a wealth of foreign relations experience, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed approval of Kerry as the right choice.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who was part of the group that forced Obama's top choice, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, to withdraw her name from consideration after the Benghazi consulate attacks, told lawmakers last week that the Massachusetts Democrat will "use his many talents and his indefatigable persistence to advance our country’s interests."
If approved by the Senate, Kerry will be the first male secretary since 2005; lawmakers will need to get used to saying “Mister Secretary” again. Kerry will take the helm after current Secretary Hillary Clinton leaves the post on Friday. Before Clinton, there was Republican Condoleezza Rice, who took the position in 2005 under then-President George W. Bush.
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Another interesting point to note is that Kerry will also be the first white male to assume that position in 16 years. The last was Warren Christopher, the 63rd secretary of state, who took the post in 1993 under former President Bill Clinton and left in 1997.