After weeks of delay rooted in a "partisan tiff", Dr. Regina Benjamin has been confirmed to the post of Surgeon General. From the Alabama Press-Register:

The vote came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other Senate Republicans abruptly allowed her nomination to go forward after delaying it for several weeks in a partisan tiff.

"It's kind of just sinking in," Benjamin said afterward by phone, regarding the Senate's decision to give her a four-year term as what is officially described as the nation's chief health educator.

"I'm excited, looking forward to it, sad that I won't be able to continue to see my patients," she said.

By coincidence, Benjamin was in the nation's capital for an unrelated meeting when the vote occurred.

Despite the timing, Benjamin had gotten little advance notice that the vote was coming.

A White House spokeswoman could not immediately say when Benjamin, who turned 53 Monday, will formally assume her new job.