My question is why didn’t she do that after the late July hearing in which Chafee clearly outlined his serioius problems with the administration’s Middle East foreign policy. Playing catch-up won’t get Bolton confirmed.
Peter Baker and Dafna Linzer write:
President Bush’s nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations appears increasingly endangered in the Senate, prompting the administration to explore other ways to keep him in the job after his temporary appointment expires in January, officials said yesterday.
The situation represents a sharp turnaround from two weeks ago, when the White House was confident it could finally push through Bolton’s long-stalled nomination. But last week’s surprise move by Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.) to delay a vote convinced Republicans on Capitol Hill that the nomination may be doomed, prompting a search for alternatives.
Administration officials said they have not given up. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Chafee yesterday to kick off a lobbying campaign that will continue today when he returns to Washington after his hard-fought Republican primary victory in Rhode Island on Tuesday.
Bush and national Republicans pulled out the stops to help Chafee win the primary, and they expect a payback. But with Chafee now preparing to face a strong Democratic challenger in a Democratic state in November, many Republicans said he has less incentive to support a firebrand figure such as Bolton.
“It’s dead as far as the Senate is concerned,” said one Republican official at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Chafee holds the decisive vote. “Chafee made it a 9 to 9 vote, and that’s not going to change.” A Senate Republican leadership aide added: “Chafee holds Bolton’s future in his hands, and people are very worried he’s going to squeeze and never let go.” [emphasis added]
This article validates what I posted right after last Thursday’s failed effort by the administration to secure a vote on John Bolton in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
— Steve Clemons