Rice Confirmed as Secretary of State, 85-13

Rice confirmed as secretary of state (CNN)

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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    Delay and ranting is all Senate Democrats has left. It hasn’t really occured to them to follow the first rule of the hole: When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

  2. Harry says:

    That was my feeling. Whatever my differences with her on policy, and however I felt about the way she handled the run-up to the war, she is extremely intelligent, and knows the President’s thoughts probably better than anyone except maybe Laura B; and Bush knows her thoughts. She is an obvious choice for SecState, and given that we can’t change the election results by objecting to his Cabinet choices, this one should have gone through without objection.

  3. Jack Tanner says:

    What a waste of time and taxpayer money that could have been wasted on some other Senate bloviating.

  4. Brian says:

    I see where Byrd put his hood back on and voted against her. It just goes to show that you can’t teach an old obstuctionist new tricks.

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    Kennedy, Kerry, Harkin, Levin, Lautenberg, Akaka, and Boxer should surprise no one. Dayton has pretty clearly taken leave of his senses. And who knows about Byrd? Perhaps prolonged usage of his hood deprived his brain of needed oxygen.

    Bayh is running for his party’s nomination for president. To do so he needs to get the attention of the left wing of his party and this has done it. Expect more of the same. La Clinton already has everybody’s attention—she doesn’t have to dash to the left.

    Frankly, Durbin surprises me.

  6. So who are the other racists who voted with Klansman Byrd and the Boxer boob?

  7. paladin says:

    Durbin is my Senator, and I intend to ask him why he voted with the Democrat lunatic fringe.

  8. Ralph says:

    Why the opposition? Not for reason, not for good of the Republic, not because the opponents could name anyone more intelegent and talented or better qualified. Why? Simply put: 2008.

  9. anjin-san says:

    Sounds like you guys are more comfortable with a world where everyone just stops thinking and falls in line. Let a hundred flowers bloom!

  10. James Joyner says:

    Ralph: Sure. But all but 13 apparently thought voting against Rice would hinder 2008, not help. I understand making a stance against controversial nominees, but not slam dunk confirmations.

  11. I’m surprised that Byrd didn’t insist that Barack Obama’s vote only counted as 3/5ths of a vote.

  12. anjin-san says:

    If we work real hard, maybe we can have more of those cool 100-0 votes like North Korea.

  13. Director Mitch says:

    Okay Anjin, who would you have voted YES fo?. They must be republican, be on the same “wavelength” on foreign policy as Bush, and be and willing to serve as a secretary – not top dog – in a Bush administration (so McCain is out).

  14. anjin-san says:


    Rice lied about the WMD threat from Iraq. She knew the aluminum tube story was bogus. I wonder if she ever visits the graves of our boys who have died over there.

  15. LJD says:

    Yes, Rice LIED, because Anjin-San has been telepathically linked with her for the last four years. He KNOWS that she was aware of the TRUTH, and intentionally bypassed it. WHY, you ask? Because all Bush wants is WAR and world domination! Ha HA HA HA (Maniacal laughter)