Nightly News   |  February 01, 2013

Kerry sworn in as secretary of state

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell joins Brian Williams to discuss the recent attacks in Turkey and the changing of the guard at the State Department.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> developments overseas playing out on a day when we got a new secretary of state. hillary clinton is now a private citizen, technically, anyway, for the first time in more than three decades. and john kerry no longer a senator from massachusetts, has been sworn in to replace her. our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell , at the state department for us tonight. andrea, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. with egypt on fire and a suicide bomber attacking the u.s. embassy compound in turkey, there was no time to celebrate the changing of the guard at the state department . even on her last day as secretary of state, hillary clinton was calling the turkish foreign minister and the u.s. ambassador in ankara.

>> of course, we live in very complex and even dangerous times as we saw again just today at our embassy in ankara.

>> reporter: the embassy in turkey is old, build in the 1950s but the front gate is separate from the main building and well defended by marines.

>> that actually insured this wasn't far worse than it could have been.

>> reporter: clinton 's state department farewell was bittersweet. she took time to tour the building, saying goodbye to cafeteria workers. in the crowd, u.n. ambassador, susan rice , who had so wanted clinton 's job. clinton 's departure had the energy of a campaign rally. as she left, some women were shouting " 2016 ." an hour later on capitol hill , john kerry , already protected by state department security, was sworn in as the 68th secretary of state by supreme court justice elena kaygan. he had said goodbye yesterday, causing a small stir by telling "the boston globe " president obama offered him the job a week before.

>> did you want the job?

>> i would have been very honored to serve in that job, just as i'm delighted to do what i'm doing.

>> reporter: tonight, kerry told nbc news in a statement that he had been overly casual in his comment and clarified the president did not formally offer him that job until december after rice had withdrawn. he wants to focus on the middle east and climate change, but as clinton learned, he may not be able to choose his crises.

>> andrea mitchell after another busy day at the state department .