Kerry has served on the Foreign Relations committee his entire tenure in the Senate beginning in 1985, and has served as the committee chair since 2009. In nominating Kerry, President Obama said:
In a sense, John’s entire life has prepared him for this role. As the son of a Foreign Service officer, he has a deep respect for the men and women of the State Department—the role they play in advancing our interests and values, the risks that they undertake and the sacrifices that they make along with their families.Kerry's appointment officially makes Elizabeth Warren the senior senator from the state of Massachusetts, a fun by-product. The special election to fill Kerry's seat will take place June 25. Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to name a temporary successor within days.
Having served with valor in Vietnam, he understands that we have a responsibility to use American power wisely, especially our military power. And he knows, from personal experience, that when we send our troops into harm’s way, we must give them the sound strategy, a clear mission, and the resources that they need to get the job done.
In an extraordinarily distinguished Senate career -- and as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee—John has played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years.
As we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands that we’ve got to harness all elements of American power and ensure that they’re working together—diplomatic and development, economic and political, military and intelligence—as well as the power of our values which inspire so many people around the world.
2:13 PM PT: No mystery here. The senator voting "present" was Kerry, himself.