Senate "grills" Clinton in confirmation hearing – then confirms

2009_0115_AP_Clinton_Confirmation2 Senator Hillary Clinton’s senate confirmation for Secretary of State which began yesterday was more of a mutual love-in festival  and photo-op than the constitutional exercise of  “advice and consent.”

Even the liberal political reporter for the Washington Post, Dana Milbank, said senators came up with a new interpretation of the Constitution’s “Advice and Consent” clause. This one could be called the “Admire and Congratulate” clause.

Clinton’s senate colleagues stood in line to gush over her qualifications to serve as the Secretary of State. In Senator Clinton, President-elect Obama has boldly chosen the epitome of a big leaguer,” gushed Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana.

I truly appreciate all that you are poised to do and what you have done in the past,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, sounding like a Hallmark card sentiment. Clinton’s fellow New Yorker Sen. Chuck Schumer informed the candidate that she’ll “be a brilliant secretary of state” – and then put an arm around her.

Sen. John Kerry said he spoke for “every member of the committee” when he called Clinton “extraordinarily capable and smart.” She’s and excellent choice,” asserted Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. “There couldn’t be a better person to represent our nation,” Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland amended.

Clinton’s listened to the senators go into raptures over her virtues and admirable qualities for 45 minutes before she returned the affection in a 33-minute statement that sounded much like Sally Field’s famous academy award acceptance speech, “You love me. You really love me!”

“I love the senate,” Clinton told her adoring fans. “It will be hard to say goodbye.”

Just before the hearing was over, one senator thought maybe they should ask Clinton a question. Showing courage and bravery few men have, Sen. Richard Lugar gently told Clinton he did have some concerns about the conflicts of interest with her husband’s fundraising activities. “Having said that, I’ve indicated that I support your nomination,” said Lugar tempering his criticism and hastening to add, “because your qualifications are remarkable.”

Clinton wowed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Today the committee voted overwhelmingly to install Clinton as the next secretary of state. The vote was 16 to 1, with only Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana dissenting.  

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