Bill Richardson made some news today suggesting that John Bolton might just squeak through — but it seems that his comments were of the wagering sort, on how he saw the very close odds, not on the substance of the nomination.
Richardson clearly said that he opposes the Bolton nomination and would vote against him if on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He also said that Bolton’s nomination was on “life-support.”
Here are two key excerpts from an Albuquerque Journal article by Michael Coleman today titled “Richardson Says He’s Troubled By Bolton U.N. Nomination” (cannot link):
~ Gov. Bill Richardson, a former ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton, said Sunday that he was “troubled” by the nomination of John Bolton for the U.N. post and would not support him if he were voting in the Senate.
“In the end, if I were a senator, I would not vote for him,” Richardson, a former U.S. congressman, said in a telephone interview with the Journal.
However, the governor also predicted the U.S. Senate will eventually confirm Bolton for the high-ranking diplomatic post.
“It’s on life support, but I would say the odds are that he will pull it out,” Richardson said.
The governor, who also discussed the Bolton nomination on CNN’s “Late Edition” with John King on Sunday, said his concerns about the nominee are related more to his policy positions than his reportedly brusque interpersonal style. But Richardson did say an ability to work well with others is a key requirement for success in the U.N. job.
~ “Being aggressive is not a sin,” said Richardson, whose own assertive personal style has led to high-profile dustups with Santa Fe lobbyists and lawmakers. “What bothers me is trying to interfere with intelligence.”
Richardson, who has not ruled out a presidential run himself in 2008, said a president should generally be allowed to pick his top diplomatic officials. But the concerns raised about Bolton are too serious to ignore, he said.
Richardson said he hasn’t heard from Bolton since the president submitted his nomination.
I have been in touch with Bill Richardson’s office today and plan to offer the Governor a bet on the Bolton nomination and perhaps get him to reconsider the odds of John Bolton actually getting through this process.
I’ll keep you posted if he takes me up on my offer.
— Steve Clemons