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Senators like Kerry for State Department

Dec. 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Two U.S. senators Sunday expressed bipartisan support for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be President Obama's next secretary of state.

Kerry, who earned a solid reputation in the foreign affairs arena during his tenure in the Senate, was nominated to replace Hillary Clinton during Obama's second term and appeared Sunday to be getting a favorable response from his Capitol Hill colleagues.

"I have no problem at all with John Kerry," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said on ABC's

"This Week."

"I've served with him for four years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," Isakson added. "He's done outstanding work, particularly in the Middle East. He's been a great envoy and a great diplomat for the United States and I think he'll do a great job as secretary of state."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said Kerry had "the ability to get tough things done like the nuclear arms treaty a few years back."

The enthusiasm for Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to become secretary of defense was more tepid. Hagel has not been formally nominated; however, he has been taking some pre-emptive hits in the media for his supposed lack of support for Israel and its policy toward the Palestinians.

Klobuchar and Isakson both told ABC they would reserve judgment on Hagel until he is actually nominated.

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