Senator Bob Corker sang the praises of Bill Hagerty before the chamber overwhelmingly confirmed the Nashville businessman Thursday as the new U.S. ambassador to Japan.
Corker said there was no one better suited. He cited the economic bridges Hagerty built with Japan during his time working for the state of Tennessee.
"I’ve seen him represent our state as Commissioner of Economic Development and cause it to be one of the most heralded states in the country relative to job creation," Corker said. "Much of that had to do with his ability to deal with other governments around the world and cause them to be attracted to our state.
Senator Lamar Alexander calls Hagerty one of the administration’s best appointees. He referenced a speech the private equity investor once gave, in Japanese, at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee gave its signoff to Hagerty last month, but not until he convinced Democrats that he had no role in the vetting of Michael Flynn, who resigned as National Security Advisor. Hagerty was director of presidential appointments and testified that he focused primarily on the Cabinet, not White House staffers.