Senator Chafee committed to a more vigorous and aggressive investigation of all aspects of John Bolton’s background and behavior, and yet in the last several days, there is no evidence that Chafee has done anything to move from his passive stance on Bolton.
I would very much like to be incorrect in my assessment — and I stand ready to correct the record if I hear from his office or those in contact with him and his efforts on Bolton.
As I have written before, Chafee opened up one of the most important lines of inquiry on Bolton, and ironically, his question about Bolton’s battle with Ambassador Charles “Jack” Pritchard may be connected to the NSA intercepts which Bolton requested.
If Chafee were out in front of this and not just waiting for others to lead, we would hear that he was forging ahead, making sure that all members of the Committee were satisfied that the State Department and National Security Agency were complying with requests.
But in my assessment, there has been nothing but SILENCE from his office since his spokeman Steve Hourahan said that he was going to take a much more aggressive stance in this investigation of Bolton.
Chafee may be a moderate — but he need not be timid. He is a great guy in so many ways, but if he is going to survive in the Senate, which I want him to, he must get into gear and get out of the wake of others. Even if he ultimately votes in favor of Bolton, he needs to be the grand inquisitor.
So far, he will mostly be known for mimicking Kofi Annan’s “alleged” encouragement to Bolton to “get confirmed quickly and get to the Waldorf” rather than asking the question that opened the Pritchard inquiry.
Find yourself Senator Chafee — and get out in front of this. You are missing in action right now.
— Steve Clemons