WASHINGTON — 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.
Obama's presidential rival, Sen. John McCain, was among those who spoke in Clinton's favor.
"This nation has come together in a way that it has not for some time," said the Arizona Republican, on the Senate floor for the first time since the inauguration.