(NBC News) The unanimous vote approving Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State was followed by cheers.
The Massachusetts Senator arrived at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting that he's led the past four years.
Kerry says he hopes his smooth approval is the state of a greater bi-partisanship.
"There is so much on the plate and we need all of us to find a way to work together and I hope this is a symbol that people are ready to do that," said Kerry.
Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognized bickering on Capitol has hurt progress.
She learned of the vote during one of her final interviews as America's top diplomat.
Clinton laid out the complicated map that Kerry would navigate.
Iran's nuclear program, security challenges in the North Africa and the Middle East.
Also, there are departmental changes in response to that deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
"You can't control everything. There are terrible situations right now being played out in the Congo, Syria," said Clinton.
Kerry's colleagues say he is ready for the challenge, and he is set to be sworn in on Friday.
-- Danielle Leigh | NBC reports