The Senate Foreign Relations Committee just endorsed Hillary Clinton for secretary of state.
The vote was 16-1, with only Senator David Vitter of Louisiana voting no. Vitter is among the Republicans who are pressing Clinton for more disclosure and promises on her husband's foundation's fund-raising around the world.
The vote sends Clinton's nomination to the full Senate for confirmation for expected approval.
“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,” Kerry said in a statement. “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.”
On the Senate floor, Clinton said good-bye to her colleagues, now that her new job appears a sure thing.
She thanked her staff, talked about how the club known as the Senate finds common ground, and expressed gratitude to New York voters who took a chance on her eight years ago.
Clinton talked at length about the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks: seeing exhausted firefighters emerge from the rubble, smelling the acrid air, pushing for money for the recovery, getting to know victims' families.
She implored senators to bring that same commitment and cooperation to working with the new administration.
When she finished, she received a standing ovation and was greeted with hugs and handshakes.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.