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In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama spoke of “peace in our time” as a foreign policy goal. The next steps toward pursuing that lofty–if ill-starred–ambition will unfold at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, where Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will face hearings on his confirmation as Secretary of State. The other two Obama nominees, Chuck Hagel (Defense) and John Brennan (CIA), face hearings next week.

Kerry is widely expected to breeze through the confirmation process. He will face easy questions from the committee he has chaired for several years, and which showed little stomach yesterday for questioning current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her role in the Benghazi scandal. Prominent Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have already indicated that they favor Kerry’s appointment to the position.

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