The largely cordial confirmation hearing for Senator John Kerry has ended. Democrat Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who served as chairman of the hearing says he looks forward to Kerry's confirmation.
Kerry did not face many tough questions, not even from the Republican senators. Yet, he did answer questions on a range of foreign policy issues such as preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and his attempts to improve relations with Syria.
Kerry was also pressed briefly by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul questioned Kerry on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and whether or not it is wise to send weapons to Egypt. Paul argued that selling weapons to Egypt and to Israel, would be "fueling an arms race." Kerry responded that it would be better to make peace.
A vote on Kerry's confirmation has been scheduled for Jan. 29. Kerry is sitting before the Senate Foreign Relations committee and is expected to sail through the process. If he is confirmed, he will send a letter of resignation to Governor Deval Patrick, and a special election date would be set between 145 and 160 days from that date.
So far, Congressman Ed Markey has announced he is running for the seat. He has also touted the support of Senator Kerry, Vicki Kennedy, and lawmakers on Beacon Hill, including House Speaker Robert Deleo.
Congressman Steve Lynch has said he is interested in running for the seat as well, but is still undecided.