Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has been preparing for weeks for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tomorrow morning.
She’s been briefed on matters that literally span the globe and with her team of close aides and confidantes, and rotating members of the Obama Transition Team, has been holding mock-confirmation hearings, where she’s confronted all sorts of questions ranging from issue-oriented inquiries to hostile ones about past Clinton controversies to uncomfortable quotes from the foreign policy fights she and her soon-to-be-boss, President-elect Barack Obama, had during the Democratic primaries.
Though he very much wanted the job of Top Diplomat, incoming Committee chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is expected to sing nothing but praise for Clinton in his opening statement and in his presiding of the hearing.
For his part, the ranking Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., will take on in his opening statement what was a thorny issue as the Clinton and Obama teams negotiated her acceptance of the Secretary of State job: her husband’s fundraising for the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation.
Lugar will share his view of what needs to be done in terms of mandating the fullest possible disclosure of former President Clinton’s activities and fundraising as his wife sets up shop in Foggy Bottom.
The woman known as a Senate workhorse has been diligently preparing with her pending deputy secretaries of State — Jim Steinberg and Jack Lew — as well as former former Counselor of the Department of State Wendy Sherman, policy aides Andrew Shapiro and Jake Sullivan, and senior adviser Philippe Reines.
Clinton has reached out and spoken to every member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the past few weeks. She will be introduced by the senior senator from New York, Democrat Chuck Schumer.
A source close to the transition process tells ABC News that the two main themes of Clinton’s statement before the committee will be "the renewal of American leadership," and "the revitalization of diplomacy to promote our security interests and advance our values." The source says that Clinton will emphasize that she’ll actively work in cooperation with Congress on foreign policy in a bipartisan and pragmatic way. She will push for smarter diplomacy and more funding for the State Department.
The hearing is expected to conclude by the end of Tuesday, though it could possibly spill into Wednesday.
A committee vote is expected Thursday morning, and everyone involved anticipates that a majority of the committee will report her nomination to the full Senate for a vote, which is expected on Jan. 20, the day President-elect Obama becomes President Obama.