Hillary Clinton sworn in as Secretary of State

Former first lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State after being confirmed by US Senate.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: January 22, 2009 9:00 am

The former first lady and New York Senator,Hillary R Clinton,was sworn in as the Secretary of State within an hour of her being confirmed by the US Senate by an overwhelming majority of 94 to two votes.

Clinton would be the 67th Secretary of State replacing Condoleezza Rice of the previous Bush Administration.

The former US President,Bill Clinton,held the sacred Bible,when the former first lady took the oath.

The first former first lady to hold this position,Hillary Clinton would go to Foggy Bottom – the State Department headquarters – to assume charges and start using what she said during her confirmation “Smart Power.”

Earlier in the day,the full Senate had a debate followed by a roll call vote on her nomination as Secretary of State. As expected,she was confirmed by 94 votes to two. The two lone Senators who voted against Clinton were Republican Senators Jim DeMint (from South Carolina) and David Vitter (Louisiana).

The roll call vote was held,a day after the Republican Senator from Texas John Cornyn,blocked the voice vote on Tuesday demanding that the Clintons should be more transparent about the non-profit Clinton Foundation headed by his husband and the former President,Bill Clinton.

Cornyn,however,voted in favour of Clinton.

Earlier participating in the debate,Senator John Kerry,Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee,said Clinton demonstrated an impressive grasp of the numerous,complex foreign policy issues US faces and showed why she will make such a formidable Secretary of State.

“She has the stature to project America’s leadership globally and to help build alliances,at home and abroad,that will be vital to our success in the years ahead,” Kerry said.

“My concern is not whether our colleague,Senator Clinton,is qualified to be secretary of State or not. She is. And I intend to vote for her confirmation but I also believe it’s very important to flesh out some of the concerns that have been raised legitimately by Senator Kerry,Senator Lugar and others that I think bears some public discussion and some debate here in the Senate,” Cornyn said.

Referring to concerns raised by some Senators,he said,Secretary-designate Clinton and former President Clinton have gone to considerable lengths to create a new review process tailored to these particular circumstances.”

Observing that the country urgently needs a Secretary of State at this point of time to carry out the agenda of the President,Kerry urged his Senate colleagues to swiftly vote in favour of Hillary Clinton.

In his speech,Senator Dick Lugar,ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,said Clinton,in his judgment is an extremely well qualified nominee who is deserving of confirmation.

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