President Obama added a senior aide today when the Senate confirmed former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk as US trade representative.
The Senate vote was 92-5 for Kirk, who has promised to push other countries to live up to fair trade.
Partly because of tougher vetting and stricter ethics rules, the upper reaches of the administration remains largely unfilled.
The review of Kirk uncovered a tax issue that involved failing to report speech income he donated to his college alma mater, but the issue did not derail his nomination as tax problems did some others.
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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.