There are two reasons why this cloture vote on Bolton is taking place today.
First, Frist wants to try and paint Democrats opposing John Bolton as obstructionists, but the media covering the Bolton nomination are clearly not letting Frist have his way on that claim. The major media do get the reality that the White House has FAILED TO BUDGE on any of the three outstanding, legitimate document requests made by Senators of the Executive Branch.
The second reason is “grand theatre”. Frist wants to demonstrate that all steps were taken to try and get Bolton through, so “going through the motions” even the White House (and Frist) will again lose — is an important part of the political process. This failure that TWN thinks will occur in the next 30 or so minutes gives the White House the excuse to either make a recess appointment — or better yet, to withdraw John Bolton from consideration for this Ambassadorship at the United Nations.
— Steve Clemons