Clinton Sworn In As Secretary of State

By Jennifer Parker

Jan 21, 2009 6:15pm

At 5:29p.m. tonight, Sen. Hillary Clinton was officially sworn in as the 67th Secretary of State in a private ceremony in Clinton’s Russell Senate office.

Former President Clinton was there along with her entire DC-based Senate staff. 

Kathleen Oberly, Associate Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals performed the ceremony using the bible that belonged to Hillary Clinton’s late father.

Secretary Clinton then immediately resigned from the US Senate by signing identical one-sentence letters to Vice President Joe Biden, and New York Governor David Paterson.

"This letter is to inform you that I resign my seat in the United States Senate effective immediately in order to assume my duties as Secretary of State of the United States," the letters read.

The full Senate voted on Clinton’s confirmation today, and at 4:30pm, voted 94-2 to confirm her as Secretary of State.

Opposition came from Republican senators who expressed concern about Bill Clinton’s Foundation fundraising efforts from foreign sources,

After she was sworn in, Clinton went straight to the White House to meet with President Obama.

They will no doubt discuss announcements the president is going to make tomorrow about high-profile envoys. We’ve learned that the former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell will be appointed the president’s middle east envoy.

And also, as we’ve reported before, the president will announce former ambassador Richard Holbrooke will be appointed the special envoy to Southwest Asia — Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.

Clinton will make her first appearance at the State Department as Secretary of State tomorrow morning.

Gov. Paterson said he will decide by Saturday who to pick to fill Clinton’s New York Senate seat.

Caroline Kennedy is thought to be the leading contender.

The governor joked recently that he will choose a high-profile, well-known woman. I don’t know if he would be joking about that if he weren’t going to choose Kennedy. 

–George Stephanopoulos

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