Three of President Joe Biden’s major nominees were confirmed to ambassadorships by the Senate on Tuesday.
Former Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who left office in 2019, was confirmed as ambassador to Turkey, while former Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico was confirmed to be ambassador to New Zealand.
Cindy McCain, the wife of late GOP Sen. John McCain, was confirmed to the rank of ambassador during her tenure of service as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.
All three nominees were confirmed unanimously.
Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat, asked for unanimous consent to confirm Cindy McCain. Kelly was mentored by John McCain prior to his death in 2018 and won his Senate seat last year. Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, also of Arizona, was presiding over the Senate when the nomination was confirmed and was visibly excited.
Flake and McCain were some of Biden’s most ardent Republican supporters during the 2020 presidential election. They were censured by the Arizona Republican Party in January for their staunch criticism of former President Donald Trump.
"When I began in the Republican Party officially, the Republican party was the party of inclusion. It was the party of generosity. It was the party of 'country first,'" Cindy McCain said of the censure. "We have lost our way and it's time that we get back on track."
"I truly hope that as things progress on, and we get further away from this mess that occurred, that we can do just that," she added. "We can get back on track and remind everyone that we are here for the country and not our party."