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Albright nominated as secretary of state

Lake, Cohen also named for Cabinet posts

December 5, 1996
Web posted at: 3:00 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton on Thursday nominated U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright as the next secretary of state, making her the first woman to be named to the post. The president also selected retiring Sen. William Cohen, R- Maine, as defense secretary and Anthony Lake, his national security adviser, to be the new CIA director.

Clinton made his announcement at an Oval Office ceremony, where he endorsed his new team as a group comprising "remarkable qualities of intellect, energy and leadership."

"Our responsibility is to build on the strong foundation laid in the last four years," he said.

The nominations of Albright, Cohen and Lake are subject to Senate confirmation. Clinton said Sandy Berger, Lake's deputy, would replace his boss as security adviser. Berger's appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded the appointments.

"I believe it is a certainty that all four of the nominees announced today by the president will be viewed favorably by most senators," Helms said.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Defense Secretary William Perry announced last month that they will retire. Clinton paid tribute to his departing national security team as "bright, forceful, strong-minded individuals." Christopher, Perry and current CIA Director John Deutch were on hand for the president's announcement.

Albright honored by appointment

In accepting the president's nomination, Albright said she was "deeply honored" by the offer and that she would carry out her position to the fullest.

To Christopher, she said, "I hope my heels will fill your shoes."

Clinton called Albright a team player, who has displayed "determination to advance our interests around the world."

"By virtue of her life and accomplishments, Madeleine Albright embodies the best of America," Clinton said. "It says something about our country, and about our new secretary of state designate, that a young girl raised in the shadow of Nazi aggression in Czechoslovakia can rise to the highest diplomatic office in America."

The president said Cohen would build "bipartisan support (that) America's armed forces must have and deserve." He added that Lake rounded out a solid national security team.


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