Senate confirms Cindy McCain and former GOP Senator Jeff Flake for top diplomatic posts

October 28, 2021

The Senate has confirmed two Republicans nominated by President Joe Biden to top diplomatic posts, NBC News reports.

Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake was confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Turkey, and Cindy McCain, the widow of GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona, will be the nation’s representative at the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

Both Arizona Republicans endorsed Biden during the 2020 presidential election. They were confirmed on Tuesday, October 26, by a voice vote.

Flake and John McCain, who died in August 2018, were frequent targets of former President Donald Trump when he was in office.

Flake announced in October 2017 that he would not seek re-election, expressing dismay with Trump and the direction of the Republican Party. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, then a House member, won Flake’s Senate seat the following year, flipping it to the Democrats.

Flake wrote in a Medium post in July that Biden’s decision to nominate him “reaffirms the best tradition of American foreign policy and diplomacy: the credo that partisan politics should stop at the water’s edge,” adding, “U.S. foreign policy can and should be bipartisan. That is my belief as well, and my commitment.”

The Senate on Tuesday also confirmed Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, to be U.S. ambassador to Austria; while former Senator Tom Udall, a Democrat of New Mexico, was confirmed as ambassador to New Zealand.

Research contact: @NBCNews

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