Wednesday, January 26, 2005
On this day:

Dr. Rice to be Sworn in Tonight

NY Times: Senate Confirms Rice as Secretary of State on 85-13 Vote By DAVID STOUT Rice Confirmed Despite Dems' Criticisms By ANNE GEARAN Jonathon Ernst/Reuters James Taranto at Opinion Journal:
The Senate has confirmed Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state by a vote of 85-13. But a small group of Democrats, led by Angry Left heartthrob Barbara Boxer, insisted on staging a mock kerfuffle first. Even though the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had already approved Rice 16-2, with only Boxer and John Kerry* dissenting, the Dems insisted on delaying her confirmation for a week and holding a nine-hour "debate," which took place yesterday. "My vote against this nominee is my statement that this administration's lies must stop now," said Sen. Mark Dayton of Minnesota. This is the same Mark Dayton who fled the capital in October, citing terrorism fears, but returned as soon as George W. Bush was safely re-elected. Ted Kennedy said that the liberation of Iraq was "a catastrophic failure, a continuing quagmire." Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment. Another Rice foe, Robert Byrd, denounced "the Administration's unconstitutional doctrine of pre-emptive war, its bullying policies of unilateralism, and its callous rejection of our long-standing allies." Byrd also accused Rice of employing "overblown rhetoric." Mark Steyn has a nice riff on Byrd:
Byrd, the former Klu [sic] Klux Klan Kleagle, is taking a stand over states' rights, or his rights over State, or some such. Whatever the reason, the sight of an old Klansman blocking a little colored girl from Birmingham from getting into her office contributed to the general retro vibe that hangs around the Democratic Party these days.
Also voting against Rice: Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Jim Jeffords (Vt.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Carl Levin (Mich.) and Jack Reed (R.I.). Of these, Harkin and Bayh actually voted for the liberation of Iraq. So did Kerry, though he later claimed he thought he was voting for something else.