Clinton Gets Group Hug in Senate Clubhouse

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2009 11:42 AM CST
Hillary Rodham Clinton takes her seat on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, prior to testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on her nomination.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – For all the press and spectators vying to squeeze into the hearing room where Hillary Clinton testified yesterday,“there was no suspense inside,” writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. Grilling the secretary of State nominee gave way to congratulating a colleague, as senators slathered on the compliments without bothering to swear her in. Hillary was rigorously flattered, patted on the back, and otherwise kissed up to, and she graciously returned the favor.

Rumor had it Republicans would play hardball on conflicts of interest with her husband's fundraising, “but the Senate is a club,” Milbank explains, and Hillary is a member. “We’re always glad to see when one of our own does well,” said Republican Bob Corker. Dick Lugar, the ranking Republican on the committee, mentioned his ethics objections apologetically, before saying he supports Clinton, “because your qualifications are remarkable.” Clinton smiled. “I respect you so much senator,” she oozed in return.