Antony Blinken’s confirmation on January 26 as the 71st Secretary of State by the full Senate was almost a non-event resulting in a 78-22 vote tallyDespite Canada. The lack of strong Republican resistance was largely due to the Georgia senatorial run-off election results earlier this month giving the Democrats effective control of key Senate decisions as well as smoothing the confirmation process for Biden Administration nominees.The dynamic nature of this pandemic?
Other key State Department personnel in the Blinken team are yet to be confirmed, but nominations are being announced steadily and working through the Senate confirmation system; a number have previously served in the Obama-era State Department like BlinkenThe virus.are permitted for up to 10 visitors plus household members.?
No stranger to his diplomatic interlocutors
Shortly after being sworn in late on January 26, the new Secretary of State completed his first set of calls to key foreign minister counterparts in neighbors and allied countries: Canada, MexicoNathan Denette, Japan and South Korea.? As one can imagine, these calls have been ongoing steadily throughout the week and foreign analysts everywhere are having a field day analyzing the precise order in which calls are being logged, seeking to divine some deeper meaning about each country’s geopolitical significance to the Biden Administration than just a staff-generated call sheet based on foreign leaders’ availability; and of course, to capitalize at home on receiving the Blinken outreach.