Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain endorsed Sen. John Kerry Thursday to succeed Clinton as U.S. secretary of state.
McCain, R-Ariz., told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Kerry still heads, "I know he will acquit himself in that office with distinction ... I commend his nomination to you without reservation."
McCain, who clashed with Clinton in her appearance before the committee, praised Kerry at length for his efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam, though he recognized their political differences. McCain and Kerry are decorated Vietnam veterans.
Clinton, sitting amicably with McCain, told the panel, "John is the right choice to carry forward the Obama administration's foreign policy. ... He will bring a record of leadership and service that is exemplary."
Wednesday, Clinton was pummeled by committee Republicans for actions before and after the Sept. 11 terror attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
Kerry "is committed to doing whatever it takes to prevent other attacks and protect our people in posts around the world," Clinton said.
Kerry was expected to face much more friendly questioning as he seeks to succeed Clinton at the State Department.
Before questions from the panel, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, praised Kerry in his opening statement, saying, "You're ready to go. ... I think you know you're inheriting a department that is facing a number of challenges ... [in] a dangerous world."
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