tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC January 24, 2013 7:00am-8:00am PST
excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app. good morning. i'm chris jansing. arth very big day in washington.
the debt ceiling debacle is postponed until may. the senate is close to a deal to reforming the filibuster. and we of course are waiting for the start of the nomination hearing for john kerry to be secretary of state. senator kerry is going before the committee that right now he chairs. foreign relations. and he'll be introduced by senators john mccain, by elizabeth warren and the current secretary of state, hillary clinton. it's expected to be very different than the fiery hearing yesterday in that very same room where secretary clinton made a passionate defense to republican senators aggressive questioning about what happened in benghazi. >> the fact is we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? it's our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> i want to bring in ron,
national correspondent and editorial director, and michael crowley, times deputy washington bureau chief. good morning, ron, let me start with you. i thought the hearing yesterday had so many fascinating moments to it. should be very different today, don't you think? >> yeah. that was probably the best moment you pulled out there. that was secretary clinton being forceful, showing some accountability, and backing the republicans back in the corner. i don't think senator kerry is going to be put in that position today. he oversees a panel he's going in front of. he's popular on that panel. they got their pound of flesh. republicans did yesterday. out of secretary clinton. i think today will be a yawner. >> michael, john kerry is expected to sail through, but some of the president's other nominees are controversial or i guess less of a sure thing. is this going to set the tone for the rest of the process or does one not necessarily have anything to do with the other? >> yeah, i actually think to the contrary, this is the -- this is
sort of the exception to the rule you referred to. i think they're essentially willing, it sounds like republicans in the senate are essentially willing to give kerry a pass. really, no one has raised any serious objections to his nomination. they seem to like him personally. it's surprising because this is the one nominee who was actually a presidential nominee and spent the better part of a couple years trashing the republican party nonstop, but it seems now that that's water under the bridge and republicans prefer to pick their fights and maybe will do so on some of the other nominees. >> they already picked their fight for this position because of susan ricing, right? >> rice's nomination never even made it to the senate. >> and kerry, john kerry is going to sell off about 100 investments. of course, his wife also very wealthy, theresa heinz, every from shares in a canadian oil company to defense contractors. he is one of the richest members of the senate, and i'm
wondering, ron, could there be any problems or tough questioning there? >> oh, no. he's facing a bunch of rich g guys. that's not going to be the problem, but i would watch the question of syria. in 2011, he talked about his hope and belief after talking to the president of syria, assad, that there would be reforms in the country. we now see what's happening. syria and the rest of the northeast are unraveling. if this is a legitimate hearing, he will be held account for those words. >> benghazi also plausible, north africa and the middle east, which were also talked about with hillary clinton. i'm wondering, michael, where you see areas where the questioning may get tricky for him. >> republicans are still very interested in talking about benghazi. we're close to the point where it's a dead horse, but particularly it having been in the news yesterday, people will get some shots in. there's no case to be made that kerry has done anything wrong,
but i think republicans may still kind of want to vent over it a little bit. i think ron had it exactly right. syria is the one area that does come up when people are talking critically about kerry. there's a concern that he maybe was even a little naive in his thought there could be some way to turn the dictator there toward the west and away from iran. and there's a lot of frustration among republicans as just a policy matter that the obama administration is not doing more to support the opposition there, not intervening a little more in terms of giving support to the rebels and he will probably answer questions about that, and generally questions about the arab spring overall, what's going on with egypt, what's going on with morsi, those problems ought to be at the forefront. >> different also because he has already been a presidential candidate. and i'm wondering, you know, in terms of contrasting it, ron, yesterday with hillary clinton, a lot of people interpreted some
of the answers she gave as looking ahead to 2016. john kerry has wanted to be secretary of state. it's no big surprise that this is a role he has coveted. but for people out there who don't follow politics as close as we might, they might ask a question, why. here is a guy who has been in the senate since 1984. he's been a presidential nominee. why this, why now? >> well, there's two jobs he's always wanted. first, he wanted to be president of the united states and he lost that bid in 2004. the second job he's wanted is this one. the reason why you're seeing a difference between the way he'll be treated and the way hillary is is clearly and simply the fact he's no longer a political threat. hillary clinton could be the next democratic nominee. so the republicans want to come after her. he's old news as far as republicans are concerned. he's not going to be running for president again. he's one of their own. he came back to the club, the rich guys' club. so they're looking at him
completely differently. >> as we see hillary clinton as one of the people who is going to introduce him, it was so fascinating to watch yesterday how she handled different members of the committee differently. what did you think of yesterday's hearing? >> well, she's good. she handled it well. i think that she was sharp and smart at the right times, and i think she pushed back hard strategically, to be honest, i thought that one particular dramatic statement she made about the four dead americans where she kind of threw a pitch right past the head of senator johnson was dramatic and impassiona impassionate. i don't doubt her feelings of sincerity, but she dodged the core question which was one of the reasons for the hearing. she was politically adept and it's a reminder of why republicans are concerned she could be such a formidable presidential candidate.
she has sharp political skills. you have a sense even when republicans were going after her, she would sometimes interrupt them or escalate the drama in a way that they didn't respond effectively to. it's just a sign of someone who has been in washington a long time, knows how the game works, is really good at it and is really smart. it's a reminder that she's a really formidable political operator. >> ron, did you get any clues for 2016 yesterday? >> i have covered hillary clinton and bill clinton since their days in arkansas. i had to laugh at myself when republicans were begging her to come talk to them about benghazi and suggested she was ducking them. be careful what you ask for. she is one tough politician. she knows this stuff. michael is exactly right. she didn't answer everything head on, but politically, she answered everything in a way that totally deflected the criticism. showed some accountability, and put these guys right back on their heels, and she won all of the political point yesterday, no doubt about it.
>> i think we're about to start the hearing. one of the points i was going to make is how she is also someone who is very practiced, frankly, at dealing with controversy, whether it's whitewater or health care. let's go now and listen to the confirmation hearing of senator john kerry to be secretary of state. >> let me again ask as i did yesterday since the full senate has not yet passed the committee resolution seating members, i ask unanimous consent of returning members to allow our prospective members to participate in today's hearing. if there is no objection, it's so ordered. let me start with saying that you're not at the table yet, senator, but we're going to have you there shortly. wow, what a high priced staff member. let me say, senator kerry, or should i say mr. chairman, since you are still our committee's
chair, that deeply humbled to preside over the committee today as we consider your nomination. we're honored to welcome you as the president's nominee for a position you have most deservedly earned, from the first time you testified before chairman full-bright as a young returning vietnam hero in 1971 to the day the president announced your nomination as secretary of state. you may not be aware of it, but you will be the first member of this panel to ascend directly to the position since senator john sherman of ohio became president mckinley's secretary of state more than 100 years ago. so you're clearly making history once again. yours is a big chair to fill, and i will do my best today to live up to your example. i have watched your lead on the committee with an equally deep and abiding commitment to get to the heart of the matter. always probative, always open to debate, always ready to mitigate
disagreements, always looking for the truth, for answers, uncovering the facts, hearing all of the evidence and then publicly spooeking truth to power based solely on what was in the best interest of the nation. as a senator, as a member of this committee, and as chairman, you have already built strong relationships with leaders around the world which will help you seamlessly into the role of secretary of state. you will need no introduction to the world's political and military leaders and will begin on day one fully versed in the paul taes and with an understanding to the nuance necessary to effectively interact on a multinational stage. when vice president biden sat in this chair, he said on more than one occasion, good international relationships are always predicated on strong interpersonal relationships. i think we can all agree that you have set the highest standard for developing those relationships throughout your career, and as secretary of
state, you will continue to strengthen those relationships on behalf of the president's and the furtherance of american foreign policy. i'll have some questions later on policies and your views, including how you explain to world leaders how you could have been rooting for the boston red sox instead of what the world knows as the new york yankees as the team of the world, but lets me say, mr. chairman, it's been a pleasure working with you and looking forward to continuing to work with you on the issues you have championed over the years. fighting global terrorism, preventing the spread of nuclear pilogical and chemical weapons. fighting for human rights and against hiv/aids around the world. fighting crime, corruption, drug trafficking and stabding up as you always have for the interest of the foreign service around the world. in your new role, should you be confirmed and i know you will, you will be center stage, representing the interests of all of us, from securing our embassies and protecting our
overseas personnel to promoting commerce and enhancing cross cultural ties and keeping america secure through cooperation where possible and isolation where necessary as in the case of iran. and of course, it goes without saying that you have truly been a world leader in one of the most consequential issues of our time, climate change, and it heartens me to know that someone with your commitment to the issue will be our voice to the world. the fact is whatever the challenges we will face in my view, the state department could not be in better hands. when it comes to america's role in world affairs, i know we agree that it's critical that the united states remain fully engaged, that we project not only the power of our military's strength when necessary, but the wisdom of our democratic ideals as we adjust to the new threats and new demands we will inevitably face. and there is no doubt you will be tested in your new role as secretary, nor is there any doubt that you will pass any test with honors as you always have.
before i recognize senator corker, let me thank you on behalf of the committee for all you have done through your long and illustrious career here in the senate and in the chairmanship of this committee, and in anticipation of your confirmation by the full senate, i wish you good luck and godspeed on the many journeys that lie ahead, and we will look forward to having a close working relationship with you as the next secretary of state. let me now recognize senator corker, the ranking member for his comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank our very distinguished guests who are going to introduce the chairman in just a moment. i want to say to the chairman, i want to thank you for your courtesy over the last six years, as i have served on this committee. i look at you and being nominated for this as someone who has almost lived their entire life, if you will, for this moment of being able to serve in this capacity. there's no one in the united states senate that has spent more time than you have on
issues of importance to our country. the experience you develop while being on this committee and spending time abroad with world leaders, with your wife, who is at your side today. there's almost no one who spent that kind of time and effort. so i'm happy for you. i know the many conversations we have had over the last two weeks, you're very anxious to serve. you're ready to go. my sense is your confirmation will go through very, very quickly. i do look forward to your testimony today. secretary clinton's here today after a day of hearings both here and in the house, and i think you know you're inheriting a department like many departments throughout government, has numbers of challenges. we saw systemic issues that nide to be addressed and they're in the process of being addressed right now. our nation has budgetary constraints, which means that in all of these departments,
creativity is going to have to be utilized to make sure we make the most of what we have and making sure that our u.s. interests are put forth. we have a world that is a dangerous world. and things continue to come over the transom. sometimes it's at surprising times. i know as secretary of state, you're going to have to lead our country in addressing those as they come about. i do hope that you'll work closely with this committee as you have worked very closely with this committee over the last many years. and helping us work with you to make sure that as we move ahead, we move ahead together. and that it's seamless. we have many challenges, and i know on monday, president obama said that america will remain the anchor of strong challenges in every corner of the globe. and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crises abroad for no one has a graeater stake
in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. i could not agree more. i look forward to again hearing your testimony today about what you hope to do in your new capacity and i certainly welcome the three distinguished people who are here today to introduce you, which i know is a tremendous honor for you. thank you for your service. i look forward to your testimony. >> thank you, senator. we have a star-studded panel here to introduce the nominee. starting with -- i'll introduce you in the order of your presentation, but i just want to start off by welcoming back the secretary, again. and we appreciate you coming back to us so soon. and again, you know, with thanks of the committee and an incredible nation with incredible service to our
country. and my understanding, although i'm being told differently, are you going -- senator warren, who is our new colleague from the great state of massachusetts, is going to be part of introducing her senior senator before the committee. then secretary clinton, then our distinguished colleague, a member of this committee now as well, senator mccain. with that, senator warren. >> thank you. thank you, senator menendez. it's an honor to be here with secretary clinton and senator mccain. to introduce my senior senator and my friend, senator john kerry. i have the privilege of speaking for a man i know will continue in the tradition of john quincy adams and christian herder as great secretaries from the commonwealth of massachusetts. although john learned much about diplomacy overseas and in the senate, he would be the first to tell you that massachusetts is also a great teacher of
diplomatic skills, whether it was negotiating his way to make the ballot as a long-shot underdog in a five-way heavily contested state convention back in 1982, or the way he brought labor and management to the table, locked the parties in his senate office over a long weekend, brought in dunkin' donuts and negotiated an end to the 92-day long brockton teac r teachers nurses strike. if anyone wants to learn diplomacy, come try massachusetts politics. john certainly has. john's story is well known to many of us from his youth as the son of a foreign service officer, seeing diplomacy up close and learning about foreign policy around the dinner table each night to his service and combat in vietnam. less well known is the story of his foreign policy work inside the senate. his 90 overseas trips he made in
28 years on the foreign relations committee. his work with dick luger to insure free elections in the philippines, his work with bill frist on aids in africa. his work as chairman of the new start treaty and his very public and successful diplomatic interventions in afghanistan, pakistan, and sudan. i think one day historians will judge his senate years in terms of his impact on foreign policy much the same way so many recognize senator ted kennedy's impact on domestic policy. from his many years in the u.s. senate, john has developed a very personal understanding that we represent not just states or government but also people. i once asked john why he loves the senate. he said, it's the pride he feels in trying to get things done for
people. for three years now, he's been working quietly to help a father from newton, massachusetts, colin bower, whose two sons were kidnapped and taken to egypt. john even called former president mubarak and had a screaming match with him about it. five times, he's been to egypt since then, and every time, colin has been at the top of his list in every meeting. every senator here has a colin bower. it's what we do. we fight for people back home. as secretary, john will understand that and bent over backwards to help us do that. he will be a terrific bridge from the hill to the administration. i know that john cares deeply about our country and our national security. i know he believes through and through in the good that america can do in the world. because he's seen it, and he's lived it all his life.
from seeing the marshal plan in action with his father in post-world war ii europe to volunteering to servie in the military and traveling all these years as a senator. john says america isn't exceptional because we say we are. we're exceptional because we do exceptional things. when the airplane, the one that says on the side, united states of america, lands anywhere in the world, i will be proud that it will be john kerry representing us. thank you. >> thank you, senator. secretary clinton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's very good to be back, and to have this opportunity to join with senator warren and senator mccain in introducing president obama's nominee to be the next secretary of state. i was very honored when john asked me to take part in this because john is the right choice to carry forward the obama
administration's foreign policy, and i urge his speedy confirmation. as we have heard from both the chairman and the ranking member and just now senator warren, he will bring a record of leadership and service that is exemplary. he has a view of the world that he has acted on first as that young returning veteran from vietnam who appeared before this committee through the time that he served with such distinction as its chairman. he's been a valued partner to this administration and to me personally. he has fought for our diplomats and development experts. he understands the value of investing in america's global leadership, and as we work to implement the accountability board's recommendations, he's committed to doing whatever it
takes to prevent another attack and protect our people in posts around the world. working together, we have achieved a great deal, but the state department and usa i.d. have a lot of unfinished business from afghanistan to nonproliferation to climate change, to so much. we need to sustain our renewed engagement in the asia pacific, continue ramping up economics as a tool for advancing american interests in jobs. pressing forward with unleashing the potential of the world's women and girls. keep championing the kind of smart power that looks to innovation and partnerships with governments and people alike, to promote peace and stability. john has built strong relationships with leaders in governments here and around the world, and he has experience in representing our country in fragile and unpredictable circumstances. he was in pakistan and afghanistan a few years ago, and we were consulting over the
phone. he played an instrumental role in working with president karzai at that time, to accept the results of the election and to move forward. i had to call harry reid and ask harry not to schedule any votes so john could continue to stay there to see that mission through. but that's what he does. he is a determined and effective representative of the united states, has been as a senator, will be as secretary. let me close by saying that leading our diplomats and development experts is a great honor, and every day as i testified yesterday, i have seen firsthand their skill, their bravery, their unwavering commitment to our country. i have been proud to call them colleagues and to serve as secretary of state. and i'm very pleased that john will be given the chance, subject to confirmation, to continue the work of a lifetime on behalf of our country. thank you. >> thank you, madam secretary.
senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to be here with senator warren and secretary clinton to introduce to speak, say a few words about my friend, senator kerry, to the committee. obviously, the nominee doesn't need to be introduced to the committee on which he has served for over a quarter of a century, and as its chairman for the last four years so i can dispense with the customary summary of the nominee's record of public service and qualifications for the office for which he has been nominated. they're well known to you and to all of our colleagues. but i would like to take a few moments to attest to the personal qualities that senator kerry would bring to the office of secretary of state, which i think are well suited to the position. he and i have been friends for quite a long time now. we have had our disagreements, which is unsurprising given our political differences. and is often the case in our business, our friendship has
been affected from time to time by our enthusiasm for our differing views, and by the competitive nature of politics. but the friendship has endured, i believe it is based in mutual respect. some observers have attributed that respect to the fact that when we were much younger, nicer, and better looking men than we are now, senator kerry and i spent some time at the navy's behest in a certain southeast asian country in less pleasant circumstances than we're accustomed to in the united states senate. while i have always respected and honored senator kerry's service in vietnam, my respect for john as a senator and my support for his nomination today originated in a very different experience. although that experience, too, concerned the country and the war, he and i were privileged to serve in, it did not require marshal valor. on the contrary, it required at least on senator kerry's part
and considerably less so on mine, extraordinary diplomatic skills. the administrations of president reagan and george herbert walker bush had pursued limited engagement with the government of vietnam with the purpose of vietnam answering questions about the feats of many americans listed as pows and mias. that was led by a man we respect enormously, john vesey, who continued as the president's special emissary to vietnam and president clinton's administration. by the early '90s, i think both john and i had come to the view that it would be better for our country to have a relationship with vietnam that served our current and future interests, and one that continued to nourish the haultilities that our recent tragic past. but we both understood that could never be the case unless we knew american soldiers were
not still kept against their will in vietnam and until vietnam fully cooperated in helping us account for americans who didn't return from the war. to help find answers to their fates in 1991, then senate majority leader mitchell and minority leader dole appointed a committee which john and bob smith chaired and i was appointed as a member as well. members of that committee had passionate and conflicting views on the subject of whether or not vietnam still kept american pows. the subject was controversial and provoked a strong passion of many americans, not the least of which were the families of the missing. most americans who careduct this issue were people of sincere good will and honesty. but there were also a few charlatans and conartists involved in the activist community who for various reasons promoted all kinds of
conspiracy theories and implausible scenarios. on many occasions, our public hearings became a circus. behind the scenes, arguments between members often became as heated and as personal as any i have ever experienced. getting information about po pow mias from the intelligence community was fraught with the usual objections and difficulties and getting information from the vietnamese, even more so. it wasn't a pleasant experience to say the least, but through it all, john led the committee with fairness to all sides, with persistence in the pursuit of the truth, and with an absolute unshakable resolve to get a result that all members could accept. really, no matter how contentious and at times crazy things got, john always believed he would eventually get all of the committee to see reason and provide an answer that would be accepted by most veterans and most if not all americans who cared so much about the issue.
and he did. he got all the members agree to an exhaustive investigative report that concluded there wasn't credible evidence that americans remain in captivity in vietnam. it was a masterful accomplishment. after that experience, john and i worked together to encourage the clinton administration and the government of vietnam to begin normalizing relations. i witnessed john's diplomatic skills in practice again. his patience, his persistence, his persuasiveness, his tact, and his singular focus on getting the best result possible in negotiations with a diverse array of government officials in both countries, convincing a reluctant administration to make what the president's advisers considered a politically perilous decision, and reluctant senators to vote for a resolution recommending normalization.
it was an impressive performance, to say the least. helping to establish a relationship with vietnam that serves american interests and values rather than one that remained mired in mutual resentment and bitterness is one of my proudest accomplishments as a senator and i expect it's one of john's as well. working toward that end with john and witnessing almost daily his exemplary statesmanship, is one of the highest privileges i've had here. should he be confirmed and i'm confident he will be, to become our next secretary of state, i'm sure we'll have our disagreements, which i know neither of us will hesitate to bring to the other's attention, but i know he will put himself in that office with distinction and use his many talents and his indufatigable confidence. and i present his nomination without reservation.
>> wow, you may want to rest your case there, mr. chairman. with our thanks to the distinguished panel, we thank you very much, madam secretary, thank you again, to our colleagues, and we call up chairman kerry to the -- >> mr. chairman, we welcome you to the other side of the committee. and look forward to your testimony and any introductions you may want to make.
>> mr. chairman, ranking member corker, and members of the committee, thank you very, very much. i'm in awe of the wonderful comments that were just made, and i appreciate them and i'll say a little more about them. before i begin, i would like to have the privilege of just introducing very quickly, i think most of you know my wonderful wife teresa who has been part of this wonderful journey for a long time, my brother cam who is serving in the government department, and my daughter vanessa and her husband brian, both of whom are working as physicians at mass general in boston and another daughter who is not here, alexandra, and three step sons who likewise are spread around the world. but we are thinking about them
as we embark on this wonderful journey. for 29 years, i've sat up on the dais where you are and i looked down at the witnesses and wondered what they're thinking sometimes as we question them, and i don't want this to affect your opening questions, but let me say i have never seen a more distinguished and better looking group of public officials in my life. suddenly, i'm feeling a lot of sympathy for the folks who sit down here. i want you to know that a couple nights ago, i was watching "godfather 2" so be forewarned if someone suddenly shows up with my long-lost brother back in the audience, all bets are off, folks. and i am enormously grateful for the generous comments of the chair and the ranking member. thank you very, very much. thank you also for your tremendous cooperation over the
course of the last years and providing that you get me out of here quickly, i will be able to congratulate you more fully when you officially assume your responsibilities. i will tell you, all of you on this committee, the new members particularly, that i have enjoyed chairing this committee and working with you as much as anything that i have done or been privileged to do in all of my career. i think this is one of the great committees of the united states senate. and it is the only major committee that i have served on since day one when i arrived in the senate in 1985. as you know, the committee carries special consequential responsibilities with respect to the security of our nation. and i think each and every one of your for the serious
consideration that you give and have given to the challenging issues and for the remarkable cooperation i have had as chairman of the committee. if confirmed, i look forward to continuing to work particularly closely with all of you, as we tackle some of the toughest issues and challenges that i have seen in the entire time i have served on this committee. and i particularly welcome the new members in that regard. i'm very grateful to president obama for nominating me and entrusting me with this important responsibility. and i am particularly grateful to secretary clinton, senator mccain, and senator warren for their introductions of me just now. i will not take it personally that this may be the one item in washington that seems to unite democrats and republicans to get me out of the senate quickly.
secretary clinton particularly has served above and beyond the call of duty. i think everybody on this committee would agree. her service has been superb, and we all thank her for a job well done, for her tireless efforts on behalf of our nation. she has set a very high mark for the stewardship of the state department and her commitment to country. and i can pledge to you that with the consent of the senate, i will do everything in my power, soummon every energy and all of my focus to build on her record and on the president's vision. senator mccain, as he mentioned, is a longtime friend. we met here in the senate coming from very different political positions and perspectives, but you know, we found common ground. i will never forget standing with him in hanoi, in the cell, in the hanoi hilton in which he
spent a number of years of his life, just the two of us, listening to him talk about that experience. i will always be grateful for his partnership and helping to make real peace with vietnam. by establishing the most significant process in the history of our country, or of any country, for the accounting of missing and dead in any war. and then for working to lift the embargo and ultimately normalize relations with an old enemy. john had every reason to hate, but he didn't. and instead, we were able to help heal deep wounds and end a war that had divided too many people for much too long. and as we talk about war and peace and foreign policy, i want all of us to keep in our minds as i think we do, the extraordinary men and women in uniform who are on the front lines even as we meet here
today. the troops at war who helped protect america, i can pledge to you that as a veteran of war, i will always carry the consequences of our decisions in my mind and be grateful that we have such extraordinary people to back us up. i also thank my new colleague, senator warren, for her generous comments. she's a longtime fierce fighter for what is just and fair and if her testimony has had an effect today and helps win votes for my confirmation, she will become the senior senator of our state in a record few legislative days. i spent 29 years. it's humbling to hear before you in this new role as president obama's nominee for secretary of state, but my approach to this role, if confirmed, is also deeply informed by the 28-plus
years i have been privileged to spend in the senate. that perspective will remain with me if confirm adas secretary, and i'm already excited about the many ways we can work together and in which we must work together in order to advance america's security interests in a complicated and ever more dangerous world. i would add that i'm particularly aware that in many ways, the greatest challenge to america's foreign policy will be in your hands, not mine. because while it's often said that we can't be strong at home if we're not strong in the world, in these days of fiscal crisis and as a recovering member of the supercommittee, i am especially cognizant of the fact we can't be strong in the world unless we're strong at home. and the first priority of business which will affect my credibility as a diplomat and
our credibility as a nation, as we work to help other countries create order, the first priority will be that america at last puts its own fiscal house in order. i really can't emphasis to you enough how imperative this is. people all over the world are looking to the united states for leadership. we are known as the indispensable nation for good reason. no nation has more opportunity to advance the cause of democracy, no nation is as committed to the cause of human rights as we are. but to protect our nation and make good on our promises as well as to live up to our ideals and meet the crisis of this moment, it is urgent that we show people and the rest of the world that we can get our business done in an effective and timely way. it is difficult enough to solve some of the problems that we face, but i will tell you, it
becomes impossible or near impossible if we ourselves replace our credibility and leverage with gridlock and dysfunction. i have heard it in my trips and secretary clinton has heard it in her trips, and any of you who travel who will begin to hear questions about whether or not the united states can or will deliver. more over, more than ever, foreign policy is economic policy. the world is competing for resources and global markets. every day that goes by where america is uncertain about engaging in that arena or unwilling to put our best foot forward and win, unwilling to demonstrate our resolve to lead, is a day in which we weaken our nation itself. my plea is that we can summon across party lines without partisan diversions, an economic
patriotism that recognizes american strength and prospects abroad depend on american strength and results at home. it's hard to tell the leadership of the number of countries that they have to deal with the imf, balance their budget, create economic order where there is none, if we don't provide it for ourselves. it's also imperative that in implementing president obama's vision for the world as he ends more than a decade of war, that we join together to augment our message to the world. president obama and every one of us here knows that american foreign policy is not defined by drones and deployments alone. we cannot allow the extraordinary good that we do to save and change lives to be eclimsed entirely by the role we have had to play since september 11th. a role that was thrust upon us.
american foreign policy is also defined by food security, energy security, humanitarian assistance. the fight against disease and the push for development, as much as it is by any single counterterrorism initiative. and it must be. it is defined by leadership on life threatening issues like climate change or fighting to lift up millions of lives by promoting freedom and democracy from africa to the americas, or speaking out for the prisoners of gulags in north korea or millions of refugees and displaced persons or victims of human trafficking. it's defined by keeping faith with all that our troops have sacrificed to secure for afghanistan. america lives up to her values when we give voice to the voiceless. i share with the president the conviction that it is equally imperative we assert a new role in the world of increasing
failed and failing states. burgeoning populations of young people, hungry for jobs, opportunity, individual rights, and freedom, are rebelling against years of disenfranchisement and humiliation. a fruit vendor in tunisia who ignited the arab awakening wanted dignity and respect. he wanted to sell his fruit without corruption and abuse. that's what led him to self-emilate. the youth of tahrir square who brought egypt its change, brought a generational thirst for opportunity and roiltights govern nns, not a religious movement. they can do more to meet the challenge and responsibility of these aspirations.
with the help of all of the members of this committee, i am determined to help president obama meet this moment. it is vital for our nation that we do so. the world is well aware that we face a number of immediate dangerous challenges. particularly in the middle east and south central asia. given our extraordinary interest in nonproliferation, we must resolve the questions surrounding iran's nuclear program. the president has made it definitive. we will do what we must do to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and i repeat here today, our policy is not containment. it is prevention. and the clock is ticking on our efforts to secure responsible compliance. this administration working with congress and in unprecedented international coalition has put into place crippling sanctions on iran. mr. chairman, you have been a
leader in that effort. and i know will continue to be. president obama has stated again and again, and i want to emphasize this, he and i prefer a diplomatic resolution to this challenge. and i will work to give diplomacy every effort to succeed. but no one should mistake our resolve to reduce the nuclear threat. nearly 42 years ago, chairman fulbright 1st gave me the opportunity to testify before this committee during a difficult and divided time for our country. today, i can't help but recognize that the world itself then was in many ways simpler, divided as it was along bipolar cold war antagonisms. today's world is more complicated than anything we have experienced. from the emergence of china to
the arab awakening, inextricably linked health, demographic issues, proliferation, poverty, pandemic disease, refugees, conflict ongoing in afghanistan, entire populations and faiths struggling with the demands of mudernty, and the accelerating pace of technological innovation changing all of that, shifting power from nation states to individuals. with the end of the cold war, henry kissinger pointed out in his suburb book on diplomacy, he said, none of the most important countries which must build a new world order have had any experience with the multistate system that is emerging. never before has a new world order had to be assembled from so many different perceptions or on so global a scale. nor has any previous order had to combine the attributes of the
historic balance of power system with global democratic opinion and the exploding technology of the contemporary period. that was written in 1994. and it may be even more relevant today. so this really is a time for american leadership. a time for fresh thinking. a time to cross party lines and divide and come together in the interests of our nation. a time to find ways to work together to maximize the impact of all of america's resources, including the great resource of this committee and of the united states senate. if i am confirmed, one of the first things i intend to do is sit down with senator menendez and senator corker and invite all of the members of this commi committee to come together, hopefully at a time where there's no interruption and we can actually really dig in and talk, and talk about how we can
have a constructive dialogue and a collegeal relationship because even as we pride ourselves on the separation of powers and the unique oversight role that the committee plays, the challenges in the world are so enormous that we could do our country a disservice if we didn't identify the ways we can help each other to confront a unique set of questions globally. if you confirm me, i would take office as secretary proud that the senate is in my blood. but equally proud that so, too, is the foreign service. my father's work under presidents both democrat and republican, took me and my siblings around the world for a personal journey that brought home the sacrifices and the commitment the men and women of the foreign service make every day on behalf of america. i wish everyone in the country
could see and understand firsthand the devotion, loyalty, amazingly hard and often dangerous work that the diplomats on the front lines do for our nation. theirs is a service which earns our country an enormous return on investment. i will be proud and honored to represent them, and i will work hard to augment our public diplomacy so the story is told at home and abroad. everyone on this committee knows well that the road ahead is tough. but i believe just as deeply that global leadership is a strategic imperative for america, it is not a favor that we do for other countries. it amplifies our voice, it extends our reach. it is the key to jobs, the fulcrum of our influence, and it matters. it really matters to the daily lives of americans. it matters that we get this
moment right for america. and it matters that we get it right for the world. one discussion that i particularly look forward to beginning with you, my colleagues, and with our country, is about the commitment that we make in our foreign affairs budget. less than 1% of the entire budget of government at a time that the world is getting smaller, that our economy depends on its relationship with every other country in the world, that we face a more global market than any time in our history, so not just in my briefings a s at the state department, but in my conversations with business leaders, in my trips to crisis areas, to war zones, to refugee camps, and in some of the poorest countries on earth, i have been reminded of the importance of the work our state department does to protect and advance america's interests and do the job of diplomacy in a dangerous world and particularly, i think, there is more that can be done to advance
our economic capacity and interests. in this debate and in every endeavor, i pledge to work very closely with this committee, mr. chairman, mr. ranking member, not just because it would be my responsibility but because i will not be able to do this job effectively, nor will our country get what it needs to out of these initiatives without your involvement and your ideas going forward. so thank you, mr. chairman and members of the committee. i know there's a lot of ground to cover. >> i'm tired of my friends in the middle east dying. i don't know if they'll be alive the next day! >> well, you know, i'll tell
you, mr. chairman, when i first came to washington and testified, i obviously was testifying as part of a group of people who came here to have their voices heard. and that is above all what this place is about. so i respect -- i think the woman who was voicing her concerns about that part of the world, and every one of you have traveled there. some of you were just there recently. senator mccain, you were just there, you were in a refugee camp and you heard this kind of thing. people measure what we do. in a way, that's a good exclamation point to my testimony. so mr. chairman, i know there's a lot of ground to cover, and as a veteran of the committee, i know we do better when we're having a good dialogue, and i look forward to that. >> thank you for your thoughtful presentation. we welcome teresa and all of the family and we thank you for your commitment as well, because obviously, it is a commitment of family as well to the service
that senator kerry will provide as secretary of state and there are sacrifices in that, so we appreciate it very much. let me start off with a round of questioning. the chair will recognize himself. let me say that we -- i think we all appreciate and embrace your offer of an engagement with the committee. we look forward to that, and having come from the senate, i know that we will particularly -- >> senator john kerry on his way to what is sure to be a smooth confirmation process for secretary of state. deftly handling what has become a familiar sight affsome of these hearings, which is a protester. a couple of things worth noting, though, i think. one is that we saw a rare display of true bipartisanship in this hearing. along with elizabeth warren and hillary clinton, getting the unbridled support of john mccain. two men who have long been in the senate, who came from very different back grounds, but both served in vietnam, both ran for president, and were not successful, but who have forged
a bond from those familiarities and from their long service in the senate, and the second, a little showing of emotion by senator kerry, who has long wanted to be secretary of state. let's play a little bit of his testimony for you now. we don't have that cued up, but let me bring in really quickly, ron fornier and michael crowley. what struck you about this morning? michael, what struck you about this morning? >> i think three things. number one, how easy this is going to be. you saw the gushing statement by senator mccain, and the joking tone that kerry took initially with the committee was kind of a sense, we're all friends here. it wasn't very tense. it was not a tense atmosphere. he's friends with them. it's comfortable, it's going to be an easy vote. number two, the message of getting america's own economic fiscal house in order, that this is not just a matter of our economy and the global economy,
but america's ability to project its strength and influence around the world. we need to have a strong economy. people need to think we have a functioning political system. we need to have frankly some credibility and not look like washington is kind of a joke, and by the way, that's a message you hear if people doubt t from the top military leaders who say our national security is very defendant on our economy, and clearly pausing to drive home an important message the white house wants out, also in the context of the hagel nomination, to be secretary of defense, the policy of the obama administration toward iran is not containment. it's to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. they're willing to use military force, but it was very significant he emphasize that. i don't think this committee has a lot of doubts about where kerry was on iran, but it's clearly a message the white house feels it needs to reaffirm, especially around the questions around senator hagel's statements. those are the three points i
took away. >> michael crowley, thank you so much. that's going to do it for "jansing & co." we're going to continue watching this, take a quick break, and be back with thomas roberts right after this. sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands?
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