Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Kerry Votes No on Rice Confirmation

During Rice's confirmation hearing Mr. Kerry told Ms. Rice, "you are going to be confirmed, and everybody knows that," but he said his own vote was not assured.

"I have reservations, and they are not personal in any way whatsoever," he told her, early in the hearing, adding that he was especially disturbed by Ms. Rice's assertion that she would not have changed the number of troops in the region.

Later in the day Kerry was 1 of only 2 Senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote NO, on the grounds that Rice showed little evidence of real policy change planned for Iraq under her diplomatic leadership.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Back in Senate, Kerry Still Opposing Bush

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat John Kerry, back in Congress after failing to wrest the U.S. presidency from George W. Bush in the November election, cast one of two votes on Wednesday against Bush's choice for secretary of state.

Kerry and California Democrat Barbara Boxer were the only members on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote against the nomination of Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), currently Bush's national security advisor.

Kerry, whose election battle with Bush focused largely on the Iraq (news - web sites) war, said Rice would perpetuate floundering policies in Iraq and elsewhere and represented policies that failed to make America safer after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Kerry called Rice "one of the principal architects, implementers and defenders of a series of administration policies and choices that, in my judgment, have not made our country as secure as we ought to be in the aftermath of 9/11."

His stand will have little effect as the Republican-led Senate is expected to vote by a big margin to confirm her.

While saying he came to her confirmation hearing "genuinely open-minded," Kerry said he did not hear from Rice "an acknowledgment of the need for a fundamental, bipartisan change" in policies "that can make us stronger and help us win the war on terror."

"On Iraq, on North Korea (news - web sites) and on Iran, to name just a few, what I heard was really a policy that predicts more of the same," Kerry said.

Kerry's first appearance on the committee since the Nov. 2 election had a bittersweet quality.

"I guess it's sort of good to be back," he said to laughter on Tuesday as other senators greeted him before his opening statement.

Sen. Richard Lugar (news, bio, voting record) of Indiana, the Republican committee chairman, said he was "proud that a member of our committee was a candidate for president of the United States."

Kerry responded somewhat ruefully, "Well, Mr. Chairman, I wish we could have translated your pride into some votes, but thank you anyway."

6:15 PM  

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