Mr. Bolton: The Right Decision is to Step Back



Robert Kuttner hits the bull’s eye in a compelling survey of the “Bolton Endgame” in the Boston Globe today. Here is an excerpt: With the Senate having twice refused to break a filibuster over Bolton, President Bush may use his power to make a recess appointment during Congress’s Fourth of July break. Bolton would then serve without Senate confirmation until the next Congress ends, in late 2006. Or Bush could withdraw Bolton’s name. Bolton’s views on the UN are hostile….

Two Fundamental Reasons Why the President Should NOT Do It. . .



If President Bush sends John Bolton to the U.N. with a recess appointment, he is sending two signals that are really quite dramatically bad: 1. Bolton will hold one of America’s highest profile diplomatic portfolios without the validation of American citizens behind him. He will not have the Senate stamp of legitimacy on his Ambassadorship and thus will be perceived at home and abroad as without “weight.” 2. During this era of preaching “democracy” throughout the world — which means…

John Bolton NOT on Bill Frist’s Laundry List of Nominations to Consider This Week



Well, it’s fairly official. John Bolton’s nomination will not be brought up this week. This morning, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist went through an extensive list of what he hoped the Senate would consider this week before going into July 4th recess. Frist also mentioned a number of pending nominations that he hoped the Senate would move through. Not on that roster was John Bolton. To bring up a Bolton cloture vote again this week, Frist would need to file…

The White House is Planning Something. . .Sounds of Silence Don’t Mean Surrender



I have been offline much of the day as I’m working to see what Karl Rove’s machine is planning to do on John Bolton. The White House does not want to lose this battle over Bolton and is increasingly turning towards a recess appointment. But that deal is not done. However, Senator Pat Roberts and others have basically conceded that the battle for confirmation is over for now — and that a recess appointment or withdrawal are the only options…

Still Working the New Bolton Stories. . .Seeing What is There



Just to clarify, there is no doubt that John Bolton became vigorously attached to undoing the “Zionism is Racism” resolution at the U.N. What I am looking into is the position Bolton took on the resolution before the administration at that time had become committed to the course it took. Some have suggested that Bolton’s enthusiasm for this effort was wanting. More soon. — Steve Clemons

Two New Dimples in the Bolton Story



Today has been intense. First of all, I had an incredible afternoon at CNN’s Washington Bureau — meeting many of the producers and anchors in the bureau. Wolf Blitzer chatted with me a bit and told me he was going to check out the blog. His team has already been reading it regularly. Next, I had a great time with Al Franken on his show on Air America Radio. But two stories — both of which are stem-winders — have…

Biden Says If NO DEAL by Close of Business Today, Then “It’s Over”



Reuters reports a comment by Senator Biden that indicates the Senator’s assessment that the Bolton confirmation battle is quickly coming to a close. Joanne Kenan writes: “If they don’t have (the documents) by the end of the day, it’s finished,” the Delaware Democrat said of the bitter dispute over President Bush’s choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. TWN has done some digging into whether this was Biden drawing a firm line and what drove this comment yesterday…

Tectonic Plates Moving on Bolton Nomination: Republicans Lining Up to Call for Document Release



Senators Trent Lott, Susan Collins, Lincoln Chafee, John McCain, George Voinovich and Lamar Alexander have all stated that they believe that the White House should release ALL requested documents on Bolton. These are: 1. NSA Intercepts and names of U.S. officials redacted in them and requested by Bolton 2. All preparatory and deliberative material and communications on Syria WMD testimony that was to have been presented in 2003 3. The client list of Matthew C. Freedman who continued to work…

Beyond Bolton: A Discussion About the U.S. Economy



Greetings folks. Sorry if I seemed AWOL today. I organized a very large-scale conference on U.S. economic policy today that went quite well — but I have not lost focus of our effort to encourage President Bush to reconsider John Bolton. Today’s conference, however, was excellent — and is actually part of the work I do in my real job. Here was the lineup: NATIONAL POLICY FORUM on AMERICA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE New America Foundation Wednesday, 22 June 2005 Hyatt Regency…