Kerry selects Kagan to administer oath
January 30th, 2013
02:21 PM ET
1 year ago

Kerry selects Kagan to administer oath

(CNN) - Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan will swear in John Kerry as secretary of state on Friday afternoon, state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday.

"He knew her well from the Clinton White House and from Massachusetts," Nuland said.

Kerry said in his resignation letter he will step down from the Senate at 4 p.m. Friday, which is also Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's last day in her post. He was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday.

When Kerry introduced Kagan to the Senate Judiciary Committee for her 2010 confirmation hearings, he noted he worked closely with her on a tobacco bill when she was a counsel and adviser to then-President Bill Clinton.

"Elena became the administration's point person," he said. "When we started out, no one gave us hope of getting close to passage. But Elena camped out in the vice president's office off the Senate floor, shuttling back and forth to the White House. She worked night and day, working every angle, thinking through every approach."

He described her attitude on the bill as "classic Elena – she saw a path forward when most folks saw nothing but deadlock."

Kerry was born in Colorado and Kagan in New York, but both attended law school in Massachusetts - he, Boston College Law School, and she, Harvard University. Kagan would later teach at Harvard law, then serve as the school's first female dean until her appointment by President Barack Obama in 2009 as solicitor general.

He has lived in the Bay State since the 1970s and was first elected by Massachusetts voters to the U.S. Senate in 1984.

At her confirmation hearings, he told senators, "I'm glad that in these next days you'll get the chance to know Elena as so many of us have in Massachusetts."

Kerry's office said Tuesday he would deliver a farewell address in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.


Filed under: Elena Kagan • John Kerry
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Moose

    He looks weak to me, hope he doesnt get chewed up and spit out.

    January 30, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. plain&simple

    Now Chuck Hagel and the second term is off to a good transition. Well qualified persons with intellect and values such as integrity....no matter what political party ,with diverse minds is what determines diversity. Gender,religion,skin color do not necessarily equal diversity. What the eye test does is only confirm the obvious.

    January 30, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Lilli

    OMG...the chairs are horrible!!!!

    January 30, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @Moose: "He looks weak to me, hope he doesnt get chewed up and spit out."

    Based on what? He's a decorated war hero, with plenty of international experience. He'll be fine.

    January 30, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. kayla

    i would not call anybody weak who served in the army.

    January 30, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Getoverit

    By the way libs, the new Secretary Of State is a 1%er, has offshore accounts, and paid a lower tax rate than Mitt Romney last year.

    January 30, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. freedom

    "So I am determined to leave the State Department safer and stronger when I walk out the door. And I know that John Kerry will just pick up the ball and run with it." Clinton quote. Safer and stronger?? What? And what ball – the one that's tainted with blood from Benghazi. Those questions have yet to be answered. The Foreign Affairs Committee are requesting all the emails and any communication between Clinton and the Ambassador before the attack. Since she lied in the hearing, they have not closed the investigation. Still seeking the truth.

    January 30, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. sassysticks53

    By the way libs, the new Secretary Of State is a 1%er, has offshore accounts, and paid a lower tax rate than Mitt Romney last year.
    -----------------------

    I'll bet Kerry paid his income taxes for the last 10 years. Did Romney .....?

    January 30, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Mark in Seattle

    Getoverit

    By the way libs, the new Secretary Of State is a 1%er, has offshore accounts, and paid a lower tax rate than Mitt Romney last year.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Take your name choice to heart Getoverit, and get over it.

    January 30, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    kayla

    i would not call anybody weak who served in the army.
    ----------------–

    Nor would I.
    Sometimes it's the shortest of comments that speak truth the loudest.
    Your comment is a great example of truth and honesty.
    Well said.

    January 30, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Tamar

    Kerry is a nice man with a good heart. No more a warmonger in the State Department is good news. I hope he cleans out there after Clinton and chooses his trusted personnel.

    January 30, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Moose

    He looks weak to me, hope he doesnt get chewed up and spit out.
    *******************
    You're the authority: it happens to you on a daily basis courtesy of your wife. She told me last night while she went searching for real Americans. Did you wear your Depends today?

    January 30, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Getoverit

    By the way libs, the new Secretary Of State is a 1%er, has offshore accounts, and paid a lower tax rate than Mitt Romney last year.
    ******************
    And since you are a mouth-breathing conservative who worships the Golden Calf, why does this bother you?

    January 30, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. MeapersoninUS

    I have much respect for Mr. Kerry, he has proven to be a good man over years that cares for others in a good way. Thank you Mr. Kerry for you military service to this country which is the reason I feel your the best person for the job. Good luck and never forget all of the little people out here sir.

    January 30, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. kayla

    freedom they have the same ball conde had (wmd)

    January 30, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |