This weekend, Senator Joseph Biden was quoted as saying that the Dems probably did not have enough votes to block John Bolton’s nomination — but he also said that they were going to keep insisting that the White House turn over requested documents.
Much has been made of Biden’s commentary; some have argued that he was conceding defeat.
This is absolutely false. Biden, through the entire failed cloture vote and since, has worked to communicate with both the Republican and Democratic leadership in the Senate that the current battle is not over blocking John Bolton. The issue is compelling the White House to hand over requested documentation that it should not be able to arbitrarily block.
Biden has been attempting to seem reasonable and flexible. While clearly the votes ARE BUILDING AGAINST Bolton — given the conversions of John Thune, Mary Landrieu, and Mark Pryor, and perhaps even Joseph Lieberman — Biden wanted to assure those engaged in this battle that an up-down vote on Bolton is possible if the White House provides the documents — and they are investigated.
TWN has been offline for a day as we have been investigating a major scoop about the NSA intercepts. I will be posting what we know shortly.
Yes, I wish that Biden had articulated his views differently — but the momentum is still clearly against Bolton. And I have been assured that there has been no weakness in resolve about demanding the requested docuyments. If there are no deals or arrangements made regarding document access, another cloture vote will fail again.
— Steve Clemons