Feb 4 - John Kerry, Hillary Clinton's successor at the State Department says he has ''big heels to fill'' as he arrived for his first day as the U.S.'s top diplomat. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The U.S.'s top diplomat John Kerry kicked off his first day at his new job at the U.S. State Department on Monday (February 4) with a speech to employees who packed the building's lobby to welcome their new boss. Kerry said he has "big heels to fill" - a reference to his female predecessors, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice - in an address to State Department employees on the first day at his new job. Kerry, who was formally sworn in as the 68th secretary of State on Friday, became the top U.S. diplomat after five terms in the U.S. Senate, where he served on the foreign relations committee for some 28 years, the last four as its chairman. Earlier in his career Kerry worked as a prosecutor and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, returning to the United States to testify before the Senate foreign relations committee about his disillusionment with the war. In following Clinton and her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, Kerry will be the first man to lead the State Department since Colin Powell stepped down in 2005. "So here's the big question before the country and the world and the State Department after the last eight years. Can a man actually run the State Department?," he said. Despite his extensive foreign policy background, Kerry joked that he had a lot to learn and would need plenty of help as he took over at the State Department. Kerry offered no hints as to his policy direction, though he pledged to do his utmost to protect U.S. diplomats following the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other American officials in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.