Here is a cute piece that ran in the Financial Times today on Bill Frist’s comment yesterday that during the 200 days that the U.S. Ambassador spot in the U.N. has been vacant, all sorts of momentous things have occurred.
From the FT‘s Observer Column:
Senator Bill Frist, the US Senate Republican majority leader, yesterday held a press conference to urge Democrats to stop blocking the nomination of John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations. Appearing with John McCain, the maverick Republican, Frist emphasised that it was crucial to fill quickly the UN position, which he said had remained vacant for 200 days since the resignation of John Danforth, the previous US ambassador.
In an attempt to reinforce the urgency of the UN position, Frist listed a series of significant events that had occurred in those 200 days.
“We have seen the orange revolution in Ukraine, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the vote in Iraq, the vote in Palestine, the hope of opening the presidential elections in Egypt.”
That just leads Observer to wonder whether the US should even bother sending an ambassador to the UN. Democracy seems to have fared better when the US chair has been empty.
This does make one wonder if leaving the seat vacant is better, in fact, than confirming John Bolton.
The bottom line is that we should be sending someone to the U.N. who can competently pursue American interests in the U.N. reform process. This person has to help other major global stakeholders move further than they would be inclined to do — and the final package will have to be sold to the Congress and American citizens. Bolton is just not the right guy to manage this important role.
President Bush needs to stop stalling and send someone worthy of American support.
— Steve Clemons