Rice Confirmed as Secretary of State, 85-13
Condoleezza Rice won Senate confirmation as secretary of state on Wednesday, after hours of sometimes-bitter debate Tuesday that focused largely on the war in Iraq. The final vote of the full Senate was 85-13 in favor of the nomination.
Rice, 50, is the first African-American woman and second woman to become secretary of state. Rice had long been expected to win the GOP-controlled Senate’s blessing to succeed Colin Powell as head of the State Department.
Some Democratic senators used Tuesday’s debate — actually, a series of floor speeches — to blast the Bush administration over the war, saying Rice dodged questions on the issue in her confirmation hearing. Leading the charge against Rice on Tuesday were Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Barbara Boxer of California.
Given the overwhelming support Rice ultimately received, one wonders about the wisdom of the Democrats who delayed her confirmation and ranted and raved about it. I fail to see how they gain anything for themselves or their party by opposing “the first African-American woman” to hold the most prestigious post in the cabinet, especially when those in opposition amounted to 13 percent of the Senate.