By Tessa Roy – January 24, 2013
After a long period of questioning, deliberating, and considering, President Barack Obama made his choice. He has nominated Massachusetts Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State.
Confirmation hearings for Kerry began today, and have since been going rather smoothly.
“John is the right choice. He will bring a record of leadership and service that is exemplary,” departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate committee when she introduced the Senator.
Democrat Senator Robert Menendez from New Jersey claims he is confident Kerry will easily handle all the difficulties of this office. Republican Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee has agreed, saying he thinks this confirmation will go through “very, very quickly.”
Kerry has already come forward with multiple priorities including foreign policy and controlling global climate change. And he is eager to accept the position. “If you confirm me, I would take office as secretary, proud that the Senate is in my blood, but equally proud that so, too, is the Foreign Service,” he said at the hearing, referring to his father’s previous diplomatic career.
One issue standing in his way is the Keystone XL pipeline. Despite being an advocate for cleaner energy and environmental practices, Kerry has failed to make a decision regarding the pipeline. This is also a conflict of interest to the position considering the pipeline will cross the Canadian border. Critics are concerned about Kerry’s capability to handle such international issues.
However, members of both parties still seem optimistic about the Senator’s ability to stand in Clinton’s place.
Kerry is the Bay State’s senior senator which has lead some to believe that the GOP wants to confirm him quickly so that Massachusetts will hold a special election to replace him. It is thought than former Republican Senator Scott Brown might run for the seat. He had been beaten in a re-election bid by Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Presently he is holding a very high favorable rating in a possible run for the Senate. Ironically Warren will become the Commonwealth’s senior senator once Kerry is confirmed and leaves the Senate.
Initially, Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice was said to be the one who would take over the post. However, she withdrew from consideration after receiving criticism for her Sunday morning television talk program remarks about the reason the U.S. Consulate was attacked in Benghazi, Libya