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John Kerry Preparing For Secretary Of State Confirmation

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Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., President Barack Obama's pick for Secretary of State, arrives for a meeting at the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) | AP

WASHINGTON -- The State Department says Sen. John Kerry, who President Barack Obama has nominated to be the next secretary of state, has started meeting with diplomatic staff to prepare for his confirmation.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Kerry was at the department's Foggy Bottom headquarters Wednesday. She says he received, quote, "a huge pile of briefing materials." He will report to the State Department regularly starting Friday.

Kerry is expected to easily win confirmation in the Senate, where he chairs the Foreign Relations Committee. Nuland says the department is working with committee to pick a hearing date.

Obama nominated Kerry in December to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who intends to step down at the start of Obama's second term.

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