January 22, 2009

Clinton Confirmed as 67th Secretary of State; Obama and Biden Visit State Department

On Wednesday, January 21, by an overwhelming vote of 94 to 2, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to serve as the nation’s 67th Secretary of State.  In her welcoming address to State Department personnel the next day, Secretary Clinton reinforced her and President Barack Obama’s commitment to increase funding for the International Affairs Budget.  She stated, “There are three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy and development. And we are responsible for two of the three legs. And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States.”

In their second day in office, President Obama and Vice President Biden visited the State Department to demonstrate their strong commitment to the department’s mission around the world. This is the first visit by the new President and Vice President to any department or agency of the federal government.  In remarks delivered at the Department of State, President Obama and Vice President Biden reaffirmed their Administration’s commitment to elevating the importance of diplomacy and development in U.S. foreign policy. President Obama stated, “My appearance here today underscores my commitment to diplomacy and renewing American leadership.”