On Tuesday, the US Senate approved – by a large majority – the appointment of Anthony Blinken as Secretary of State, 6 days after the new President Joe Biden took office.
In a Senate vote – which has 100 seats – 78 members agreed to hand over Blinken the State Department portfolio, 22 against.
Thus Blinken is the fourth name to join Biden’s government team, after Defense Secretary General Lloyd Austin, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and National Intelligence Chief Avril Haines, whose inauguration was approved by the Senate.
Jim Risch, leader of the Republicans on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, described Blinken as the right person, while Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democratic majority, described him as the right person to boost America’s standing on the world stage.
Blinken promised to the Senate last week to “revive the alliances that were manipulated” by former Republican President Donald Trump, and to return the United States to the fore on the international stage.
Blinken’s government experience, 58, dates back to 1994, where he worked at the National Security Council under the administration of former President Bill Clinton until 2002, and he also worked in Congress as a senior Democratic staff member of the Foreign Relations Committee between 2002 and 2008.
Blinken also held important positions in the White House, the State Department, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during Barack Obama’s term (2009-2017).
During the Obama years he served in several key positions, including the National Security Adviser to then Vice President Biden, the Deputy National Security Adviser and the Deputy Secretary of State.
Blinken worked with Biden for years and served as his campaign spokesperson on foreign affairs for the past few months.