Just when everything was looking so clear.
There are rumors swirling now that Frist may push the Bolton nomination on Wednesday this week. Since Barbara Boxer has a public hold — and there are also private holds — on the Bolton nomination, Frist would call for a “motion to proceed” on Bolton, which he can win on a simple majority.
I still think it is doubtful that this will occur because as I’ve called offices today — particularly among the “undecided Dems” and the “wobbly Republicans,” it is clear that the White House has not done its homework. The votes are far from certain — and staffers are begging for digested versions of material against Bolton to make the case for their bosses as to why the nomination makes little sense.
No staffer — not Republican or Democrat — has asked if there is a roster of reasons to confirm Bolton. And I have talked to some of the most hard core offices predicted to support John Bolton.
TWN is helping as much as possible in this “public education” activity.
In any case, we will keep you posted if these rumors develop legs — but folks should keep in mind that calls to Senator Ben Nelson, Olympia Snowe, Chuck Hagel, Lincoln Chafee, Susan Collins, Arlen Spector, Pete Domenici and others of your choice are well worth it today, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
If Frist does push Bolton on Wednesday, look for a debate on the motion to proceed unfolding on Wednesday and Thursday morning — with a vote scheduled for Thursday.
So much for the Bill Kristol call to Senator Frist that Democrats and Republicans agree to unlimited floor debate on John Bolton’s merits and shortcomings for this important position in the United Nations.
More to come.
— Steve Clemons