Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim Walsh (R-NY) have begun to float a “Dear Colleague” letter asking members to sign on to an appeal to the White House to nominate outgoing Iowa Congressman Jim Leach as Ambassador to the United Nations “should the Bolton nomination expire.”
On a conference call with reporters and bloggers, Blumenauer made clear that this effort was not an anti-Bolton effort but was rather a constructive exercise designed to highlight the merits of Jim Leach serviing as America’s UN Ambassador should John Bolton’s term come to an end with adjournment of this Congress and without confirmation by the Senate.
Jim Leach was asked at the Citizens for Global Solutions Annual Conference today whether he would be interested in serving as US Ambassador to the United Nations and if he was aware of the Blumenauer/Walsh effort, and he stated that he was aware of it — but at this time he was planning to go back to Iowa City.
However, TWN spoke to someone very close to Jim Leach who said that if asked by the President to serve in such a role, “he would be delighted to accept.” This individual also reminded me that Leach started his career in the Foreign Service with a stint at the United Nations — and resigned in protest after Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night massacre,” which he found to be unethical and behavior by government officials he could not accept.
Some in the administration are suggesting that Zalmay Khalilzad, America’s current Ambassador to Iraq, is favored by the higher echelon to succeed Bolton if the White House’s last gasp Bolton effort finally collapses — but so far there has been no public relations campaign of any sort endorsing Khalilzad, who is reportedly frustrated with his role and position in Iraq and on the edge of quitting government service all together.
— Steve Clemons