U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
January 24, 2013
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Introducing Nominee for Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry
At His Senate Foreign Relations Committee Confirmation Hearing
January 24, 2013
Hart Office Building
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It’s very good to be back and to have this opportunity to join with Senator Warren and Senator McCain in introducing President Obama’s nominee to be the next Secretary of State. I was very honored when John asked me to take part in this because John is the right choice to carry forward the Obama Administration’s foreign policy, and I urge his speedy confirmation.
As we’ve heard from both the Chairman and the Ranking Member and just now Senator Warren, he will bring a record of leadership and service that is exemplary. He has a view of the world that he has acted on, first as that young returning veteran from Vietnam who appeared before this committee, through the time that he served with such distinction as its chairman. He’s been a valued partner to this Administration and to me personally. He has fought for our diplomats and development experts. He understands the value of investing in America’s global leadership. And as we work to implement the Accountability Review Board’s recommendations, he is committed to doing whatever it takes to prevent another attack and protect our people and posts around the world.
Now, working together, we’ve achieved a great deal. But the State Department and USAID have a lot of unfinished business, from Afghanistan to nonproliferation to climate change to so much. We need to sustain our renewed engagement in the Asia Pacific, continue ramping up economics as a tool for advancing American interests and jobs, pressing forward with unleashing the potential of the world’s women and girls, keep championing the kind of smart power that looks to innovation and partnerships with governments and people alike to promote peace and stability.
John has built strong relationships with leaders in governments here and around the world, and he has experience in representing our country in fragile and unpredictable circumstances. He was in Pakistan and Afghanistan a few years ago, and we were consulting over the phone. He played an instrumental role in working with President Karzai at that time to accept the results of the election and to move forward. I had to call Harry Reid and ask Harry not to schedule any votes so that John could continue to stay there to see that mission through. But that’s what he does. He is a determined and effective representative of the United States, has been as a senator, will be as Secretary.
Let me close by saying that leading our diplomats and development experts is a great honor. And every day, as I testified yesterday, I’ve seen firsthand their skill, their bravery, their unwavering commitment to our country. I’ve been proud to call them colleagues and to serve as Secretary of State. And I’m very pleased that John will be given the chance, subject to confirmation, to continue the work of a lifetime on behalf of our country.