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Antony Blinken. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.

Background: Blinken is a French-speaker and step-son of a Holocaust survivor whose stories he credits with shaping his worldview. Like Biden, Blinken is a committed multilateralist and advocate for the United States as a leading force for good in the world.

  • Blinken served in the Obama administration as deputy national security adviser from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017.
  • He was Biden's top aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over 15 years ago.
  • He started his career at the State Department in the Clinton administration.

Key quotes from Blinken's testimony:

  • "Humility and confidence should be the flip sides of America's leadership coin. Humility because we have a great deal of work to do at home to enhance our standing abroad ... But we'll also act with confidence that America at its best still has a greater ability than any country on earth to mobilize others for the greater good."
  • "We're as a general rule much better off being at the table than being outside the room if we're going to try and influence those institutions and organizations and move them in a better direction."
  • "We have to start by approaching China from a position of strength, not weakness, a position of strength when we are working with, not denigrating, our allies ... a position of strength when we are engaged and leading in international institutions, not pulling back and ceding the terrain to China to write the rules and norms that animate those institutions."

The big picture: Blinken is the fourth Biden Cabinet nominee to be confirmed, following Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Go deeper: What has and hasn't changed as Biden takes over U.S. foreign policy

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

Biden picks Rob Malley as envoy for Iran

Malley (L) during Iran deal negotiations in Vienna, 2015. Photo: Siamek Ebrahimi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Image

Rob Malley will serve as the Biden administration's special envoy for Iran, working out of the State Department, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Malley, a former Middle East adviser to Barack Obama, took part in the negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal and is a strong supporter of a U.S. return to the agreement. Reports of his likely selection led to sharp criticism from opponents of the deal like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), while former colleagues from the Obama administration rallied to Malley's defense.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.