The US Senate has overwhelmingly confirmed Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, despite strong criticism from opposition Democrats over her role in crafting President Bush's Iraq policies.
The Senate on Wednesday approved Ms. Rice 85 to 13 to succeed Colin Powell as the United States' chief diplomat. Democrats used Ms. Rice's confirmation hearings last week and a debate on her nomination Tuesday to repeatedly criticize the Bush administration for what they called "catastrophic failures" in Iraq. Some Democrats also accused President Bush and Ms. Rice, his former national security adviser, of misleading the American public over reasons to invade the country. President Bush brushed off the criticism today, and told a news conference Ms. Rice will make an honorable secretary of state. She will be the first African American woman to hold the post.