Nightly News | January 24, 2013
>> back on capitol hill today, though this time to introduce the man nominated to replace her. massachusetts senator john kerry testifying before the very same committee he chairs, receiving quite a different welcome than the one she received 24 hours earlier. our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell , in our d.c. newsroom tonight with more. andrea, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. the son of a diplomat, raised partly at u.s. embassies abroad, even republicans said john kerry has lived his whole life preparing to be secretary of state. what a difference a day makes. a day after hillary clinton was grilled about benghazi, she was back to join the same senators in lavishing praise on her presumed successor.
>> john is the right choice to carry forward the obama administration's foreign policy . and i urge his speedy confirmation.
>> if you confirm me, i would take office as secretary, proud that the senate is in my blood. but equally proud that so too is the foreign service .
>> reporter: john mccain and kerry forged close bonds over vietnam . both naval officers , mccain was imprisoned. kerry returned to testify against the war in 1971 . his first appearance before this committee.
>> how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in vietnam ?
>> reporter: decades later, they united as senators to resolve p.o.w. issues and normalize relations with vietnam .
>> working toward that end with john and witnessing almost daily his exemplary statesmanship is one of the highest privileges i've had here.
>> reporter: today, they do have differences. mccain is more willing to arm the rebels in syria.
>> i think we ought to tell the syrian people that we're either going to help them or we're not.
>> if you have a complete implosion of the state, nobody has clearer definition of how you put those pieces back together.
>> reporter: he and others also pressed kerry on benghazi.
>> are you willing to work with me or do you basically kind of agree hillary clinton that that's kind of yesterday's news and let's move on?
>> well, senator, if you're trying to get some daylight between me and secretary clinton, that's not going to happen here today.
>> reporter: kerry promised to stress economic issues, climate change and stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon .
>> we will do what we must do to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon . and i repeat here today, our policy is not containment. it is prevention. and the clock is ticking on our efforts to secure responsible compliance.
>> reporter: and there's this. if sworn in next week as expected, kerry would be the first man to be secretary of state in eight years. brian?
>> andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom tonight with that footnote, thanks.