Senate confirms Obama nominees at State and Veterans Administration

State Department (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) State Department
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The Senate voted 90-8 Tuesday evening to confirm former Time Magazine managing editor Richard Stengel to be undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. Stengel had also been president and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia from 2004 to 2006 and had been senior adviser and chief speechwriter for former senator Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign.

The Senate also voted 97-1 to confirm  Sarah Sewall, former Clinton administration deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and senior foreign policy adviser to former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, to be undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights.

Recently returned ambassador to France Charles Rivkin — fresh off a nice lunch of black bass and salted caramel New Orleans king cake at the head table at the Biden-Kerry lunch for French President Francois Hollande — was also confirmed  to be assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs. The vote on the former Jim Henson Co. chief and an executive producer of Nickelodeon’s “Yo Gabba Gabba!” was 92-6.

The Senate, by voice vote, also confirmed the nomination of former USO president Sloan Gibson, a West Point graduate, former infantry officer in the U.S. Army and a banker,  to be deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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Al Kamen · February 11, 2014

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