Kerry Prepares For Confirmation Hearings

WASHINGTON (January 3, 2013)—U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., whom President Barack Obama nominated to be the next secretary of state, has started meeting with diplomatic staff to prepare for his confirmation, the State Department says.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Kerry was at the department's Foggy Bottom headquarters Wednesday and she said he received, "A huge pile of briefing materials."

He will report to the State Department regularly starting Friday.

Kerry is expected to easily win confirmation in the Senate, in which he chairs the Foreign Relations Committee.

Nuland said the department is working with committee to pick a hearing date.

Mr. Obama nominated Kerry in December to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who intends to step down at the start of Obama's second term.

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