In Senate farewell, Kerry speaks of need to listen

January 30, 2013 - 5:31 PM
Kerry

This handout frame grab image provided by C-SPAN2 shows Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. giving his last speech as senator, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kerry's last day as senator is Friday as he prepares to become the nation's next secretary of state. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. is at right. (AP Photo/CSPAN2)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State-designate John Kerry is saying farewell to the Senate.

The five-term Massachusetts Democrat was emotional at times during a speech on the Senate floor as he discussed the importance of listening and of cooperation.

Democrats and a few Republicans sat and listened, then applauded and congratulated their colleague after his remarks.

The Senate confirmed Kerry on Tuesday and he will succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

He will be sworn-in on Friday afternoon by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and his first day at the State Department is Monday.

Kerry dismissed suggestions that the Senate is broken. He argued that lawmakers face three challenges — the decline of civility, the corrupting force of campaign money and the disregard for facts.