Senate Confirms Hillary Clinton As Secretary Of State

After John Cornyn refused to allow Hillary Clinton a unanimous consent vote in the Senate, she has now been confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of State by an overwhelming 94-2 margin with David Vitter (R-Brothel...err..LA) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) the only 'No' votes. Way to embarrass Senator Clinton, there Big John!

The Senate confirmed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state Wednesday as President Barack Obama moved to make his imprint on U.S. foreign policy, mobilizing a fresh team of veteran advisers and reaching out to world leaders. The Senate voted 94-2, with Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina opposing.

Republicans and Democrats alike said her swift confirmation was necessary so that Obama could begin tackling the major foreign policy issues at hand, including two wars, increased violence in the Middle East and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

"It is essential that we provide the president with the tools and resources he needs to effect change, and that starts with putting a national security team in place as soon as possible," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

John McCain used the opportunity to spout some unity language about both parties coming together in a vote of bipartisan support for Clinton, apparently planning to cast himself as the elder statesman of unity and I guess to try to wash away the film that still lingers after his embarrassing and dirty campaign for president. I think it's clear that Republicans see more upside to cooperating with Obama than crossing him. I guess they're not as dumb as I thought.

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Jill Biden's Candor

Dr. Jill Biden today on the Oprah Winfrey show said that her husband Joe Biden, the Vice President-elect, had been given a choice by the President-elect back in August of being either Vice President or Secretary of State. Apparently the gift of candor runs in the family. Well, at least, we now know how Joe Biden chose and we gained some insight into the decision-making process but one does wonder what if Joe Biden had chosen the other post, who would have been picked as the number two? I doubt it would have been Hillary Clinton.

From Jake Tapper's ABC News blog:

During the taping of the Oprah Winfrey show today, Dr. Jill Biden said that her husband, the vice president-elect, was given a choice of being either vice president or secretary of State.

This revelation came after Vice President-elect Joe Biden told Oprah that after then-Sen. Obama offered the job of VP he asked for some time to think about it and talk it over with his family.

Mrs. Biden interjected: "Joe had the choice of being secretary of State or vice president." She then seemed to realize she'd said something she wasn't supposed to have said.

Her husband laughed.

Said Oprah, trying to continue the conversation, "You said, 'Joe...?'"

"I said, 'Joe if you are secretary of State you will be away, I'll never see you,'" Mrs. Biden said. "We will see you at a state dinner once in a while. But I said if you are vice president, the entire family, because they worked so hard for the election, they can be involved ... They can come to our home, they can go to events, they can be with us and that is what is important to us."

Oprah turned to the VP-elect, asking "Were you worried about being number 2 because you wanted to be number one?"

"I think Barack was worried about it," the former senator said with a laugh.

This can't be the kind of thing that would please Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY.

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Could Clinton or Edwards have beaten Obama in Iowa?

On January 3, 2008, roughly 240,000 Iowans attended Democratic precinct caucuses, and at least 90,000 of them ended up in Barack Obama's corner.

However we felt about Obama during the primaries or the general election campaign, whatever we think about his substantive and symbolic actions since the election, we can all agree that he would not be taking the oath of office tomorrow if Iowa caucus-goers had put him in third place, or even a distant second.

I started writing this diary several times last year. I kept abandoning it because emotions were so raw on Democratic blogs that I felt the piece would only ignite a flamewar. Since more than a year has passed, I decided to try one more time.

I do not mean to start an argument or pretend that I have all the answers. I just enjoy thinking about counterfactual history (such as this or this).

After the jump I will try to figure out whether Hillary Clinton or John Edwards could have beaten Obama in Iowa.

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There are times when you get lost in the clamor of daily life, playing the quiet tune that meets the expectations of routine demands. You play your part dutifully, riding the crests and troughs with fortitude, and not merely meandering through its course. Challenges arise and you rise to meet them. Opportunities galore and you seize them. There is much to be done and much to be thankful for. To each his own - his own purpose and his own way of life, and his own set of inspirational heroes. Those magnificent human beings who spark your imagination and whose lives are worthy of awe.

As I turn 24 today, I want to take a moment to thank one of my personal heroes - Hillary Clinton. Ever since I read her autobiography three years ago and became interested in politics in a way that I never imagined that I would, I have always admired her tenacity and her grit. She is one of the best examples of the magical combination of discipline, steadfastness and brain-power, and its sheer power to alter and define our lives.

Not too long ago,one of my best friends was going through a rough time in life because of who she was. She was in a lot of mental pain, and yet exuded such dignity and resolve. I often wondered how she was going through so much and yet remained so focused. She told me how she was dealing with it and I listened in admiration. Of the many examples that she gave me, it struck me when she spoke about Hillary. She told me about how she looks up to people like Hillary and I could not but notice how affectionately she spoke about her. I have a lot of respect and admiration for anyone who help people deal with their pain in life, and it is for this reason that I think that Hillary is one of the finest leaders of this country.

As she steps up to take on another challenge, I wish Hillary the very best. mydd is such a wonderful forum for the Democratic Party and I feel really happy to be part of it. I also want to give a big hug or a hi-fi (your choice) to those who feel the same way about Hillary. :)

Hillary Clinton Sails Through Senate Foreign Relations Committee

This morning's vote was 16-1 with Senator Vitter (R-LA) being the only No. The lopsided vote is not a surprise given her well-received confirmation hearing testimony the other day and the fact that the Senate tends to give deference to their fellow members moving on to cabinet posts.

Here's Chairman Kerry's statement.

"The 16 to 1 roll call vote demonstrates the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's overwhelming support for President-Elect Obama's designee to be Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton," said Kerry. " America is fortunate that President-Elect Obama has chosen such a smart, talented and experienced individual to serve as our top diplomat. I look forward to working closely with Secretary of State Designee Clinton to restore our international relationships and America 's place in the world."

The full Senate vote to confirm Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State will take place at some point after the 20th.

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