WASHINGTON, January 30 (RIA Novosti) The US Senate on Tuesday easily confirmed one of its own, Democratic Senator John Kerry, to be the next secretary of state and take over from Hillary Clinton who is stepping down after four years in the job.
Kerry was approved 94 to 3, with three Republican senators voting against him. Kerry voted “present” on his own confirmation.
A decorated Vietnam War veteran, Kerry was the 2004 Democratic nominee for US President, losing the election to the incumbent President George W. Bush.
Kerry acknowledged the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Russia during testimony last week to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, saying he was “confident” that relations with Russia can be improved.
“I would like to see if we can find some way to cooperate,” Kerry told the panel.
US President Barack Obama’s first choice to be the next secretary of state, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, withdrew her name from consideration after coming under fire for her comments shortly after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice blamed the deaths of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans on spontaneous protests that started over an anti-Muslim video that had gone viral. It was later determined that an attack by armed terrorists that apparently had nothing to do with the video lead to the deaths of the four Americans.
Kerry is set to be sworn in as the next US secretary of state later this week.