View Full Version : Bolton Lobbies For His Job

07-28-2006, 12:27 AM
Bolton Lobbies for Full Approval
By Tyler Marshall, Times Staff Writer
3:57 PM PDT, July 27, 2006

WASHINGTON -- America's combative United Nations ambassador, John Bolton, launched a second campaign to win full congressional approval today, insisting that he had done his best "to work with others to advance our national interests" during his year at the world body.

"I do believe important advances have been made," he said during a 3-hour hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Facing questions from largely sympathetic Republican lawmakers and Democrats who clearly remained opposed to him holding the U.N. job, Bolton cited diplomatic successes during his tenure, including a unanimous Security Council resolution condemning North Korea and demanding that it suspend its ballistic missile program.

Bolton failed to win Senate approval for the job last year after a heated and divisive debate.

Bolton's critics cast him as a smart but ill-tempered and inflexible ideologue who screamed at subordinates and was incapable of compromise.

His backers argued that he was just the man America needed to shake up the lethargic, bureaucracy-heavy United Nations.

Exercising special powers available to the chief executive, President Bush waited for Congress to adjourn last summer, then gave Bolton what is termed a "recess appointment" a temporary position that expires in January.

Today's hearing marked the first step in a second White House push to make Bolton's job permanent. The Foreign Relations Committee could vote on the nomination next week, although Democrats are expected to ask for a delay until September. Either way, a floor vote by the full Senate is not expected before September.

While Republicans and Democrats appeared as deeply divided as ever over the wisdom of Bolton's appointment, the hearing lacked both the intensity and the animosity of last year's sessions. The only real drama came when two members of the public attending the hearing shouted anti-Bolton remarks before they were quickly escorted from the room.

Then, as the hearing was winding down, a pipe in a women's toilet on the floor above burst, sending water pouring down from the ceiling, narrowly missing Bolton and the senators.

Most Republicans either praised the envoy or served him up questions that allowed Bolton to talk about his achievements.

Among the Republicans, only Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee pressed Bolton hard, especially on his view of events in the Middle East. At one point Chafee read back to Bolton a comment the envoy had made that cited terrorism as the sole cause of today's Middle East turmoil, then eyed Bolton, saying: "Now you're a brilliant man. That statement doesn't make any sense. Terrorism is a device. Can't you get any deeper?"

Chafee, who voted for Bolton's appointment last year, then implied there was a gap between Bolton's rhetoric about the need to forge an independent Palestinian state and the effort the administration had devoted to the task. A Chafee aide, Christopher Spina, later indicated that the senator had yet to decide how he planned to vote on Bolton's nomination.

"He'll base his decisions on Bolton's answers," Spina said.

Republicans need the votes of all 10 of its committee members to avoid the risk of a repeat of last year, when a split vote sent Bolton's nomination to the floor without an endorsement.

George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who defied intense pressure from within his party to vote against Bolton last year, confirmed that he planned to support the appointment this time. Voinovich referred colleagues to a commentary he wrote for the Washington Post last week explaining his reversal.

That article cited Bolton's ability to work with others and what Voinovich called a demonstrated ability to "follow the president's lead by working multilaterally."

Voinovich also questioned whether removing Bolton at such a critical time might weaken American influence if the move were interpreted as punishing someone who pursued U.S. policies so forcefully.

The Democrats had no such concerns. In prepared remarks, Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D-Del.) accused Bolton of alienating America's allies with his heavy-handed style.

"Instead of isolating the bad guys, Mr. Bolton's approach is to allow the bad guys to isolate the United States," Biden said.

He and other Democrats frequently referred to a recent New York Times article that carried comments from several U.N. ambassadors highly critical of Bolton's style.

07-28-2006, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by LoungeMachine

Bolton cited diplomatic successes during his tenure, including a unanimous Security Council resolution condemning North Korea and demanding that it suspend its ballistic missile program.



Well done. LMAO

How'd he ever fit it in between the swingers clubs, wire taps, and arm twisting analysts?