Category: Politics / January 24, 2013 5:39 PM EST
John Kerry began to choke up at his secretary of state confirmation hearing Thursday morning when discussing his father's history in the U.S. Foreign Service, emotionally expressing his devotion to foreign service during his testimony.
President Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of State John Kerry began the confirmation process on Thursday (January 24) with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, one he has chaired for the last four years.
Obama nominated the Massachusetts senator to succeed Hillary Clinton as the country's top diplomat last month, after Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew from consideration amid scathing Republican criticism of her handling of a September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The five-term U.S. senator and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee is expected to sail through the confirmation process. He could start his new job early next month.
Kerry, in prepared opening remarks for the hearing, said he was ready to keep the pressure on Iran with regard to their nuclear ambitions.
"The President has made it definitive. We will do what we can to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. I repeat here today: our policy is not containment, it is prevention, and the clock is ticking on our efforts to secure responsible compliance" he said.
The Yale-educated son of a foreign service officer, Kerry, 69, has been a specialist in foreign affairs for years. In the 1960s, he differed from most of his well-heeled peers by enlisting in the U.S. Navy and serving two tours of duty in the Vietnam War.
He emotionally expressed his devotion to foreign service during his testimony.
"If you confirm me, I would take office as Secretary proud that the senate is in my blood, but equally proud that so too is the foreign service"
Kerry, one of the richest members of the Senate thanks to his second wife's fortune, already cleared up one concern.
He and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, have agreed to divest nearly 100 separate investments in the United States and abroad if he becomes the country's top diplomat.