Thanks to all who entered The Washington Note‘s contest to name the Senate factions supporting and opposing John Bolton’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. There were more than 400 entries, and the decision has been extremely tough.
Though the judges were nearly seduced a couple of times by some brilliant zingers, I don’t want to go “negative” in this campaign, and many of the most noteable catch phrases hit a bit harder than I’d prefer.
I’m also merging two of the best and will use my own judgment as to when to use the terms independently or together. I’ll explain in a moment.
And one person who didn’t make a submission gets a mug — and that is Katie, the receptionist in the majority office of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who was a trooper in taking all of our calls. She was overwhelmed yesterday and had no idea this issue was popping — so though she might stuff it in the back of the cupboard or toss it, she gets a mug.
Winning for naming the anti-Bolton group is “Praktike” from this board, who questioned whether this was an effort worth fighting. He wins for “The America Alone Alliance.”
Remember John Bolton’s infamous line on America and the UN:
If I were doing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member [the United States] because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world.
The next WASHINGTON NOTE MUG winner is Ben Rosengart who also comments frequently on this. He made numerous suggestions, including “Mission Mockers” that seemed to remind me of a John Malkovich skit for some reason. But his winner is “The Leadership League.” Simple, inspiring, and in the great bilateral traditions of American engagement and ‘leadership’ in the world. I liked it a lot.
I am going to use it, but the fact is that 90% of the 40 or so people I gave these to to rank kept picking David Meyer’s “The UN-Bolted.” It’s clever, says a lot, and nearly works as “The UN-Bolted Leadership League.”
Honorable Mention goes to Douglas McGray’s “Ten Stories Coalition,” which cleverly plays off of Bolton’s line: “The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”
I recognize that these don’t have the zinginess of “Faint-Hearted Faction” and “Conscience Caucus” — but they are close enough. And I can use the UN-Bolted and/or Leadership League when the situation fits.
So, Mugs to Katie, Praktike, Ben Rosengart, and Dave Meyer. The mugs are on order now and will be sent to these winners with our compliments and congratulations — and will be available to all soon.
Now we have to get to the real work of telling the Bolton story that he’d rather not have told.
— Steve Clemons