Theodore's World: Bush Accepts Bolton's U.N. Resignation

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December 04, 2006

Bush Accepts Bolton's U.N. Resignation

WASHINGTON - Unable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, the White House said Monday.

Bolton's nomination has languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (news, bio, voting record), a moderate Republican who lost in the midterm elections Nov. 7 that swept Democrats to power in both houses of Congress, was adamantly opposed to Bolton.

Critics have questioned Bolton's brusque style and whether he could be an effective public servant who could help bring reform to the U.N.

President Bush, in a statement, said he was :

"deeply disappointed that a handful of United States senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate. They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time," Bush said. "This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their nation."

Sen.John Kerry, D-Mass, said Bolton's departure could be a turning point for the administration.

"With the Middle East on the verge of chaos and the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea increasing, we need a United Nations ambassador who has the full support of Congress and can help rally the international community to tackle the serious threats we face," Kerry said. He said it was an opportunity for Bush to nominate an ambassador "who enjoys the support necessary to unite our country and the world and who can put results ahead of ideology."

Bush gave Bolton the job temporarily in August 2005, while Congress was in recess. Under that process, the appointment expires when Congress formally adjourns, no later than early January.

The White House resubmitted Bolton's nomination last month. But with Democrats capturing control of the next Congress, his chances of winning confirmation appeared slight. The incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, said he saw "no point in considering Mr. Bolton's nomination again."

While Bush could not give Bolton another recess appointment, the White House was believed to be exploring other ways of keeping him in the job, perhaps by giving him a title other than ambassador. But Bolton informed the White House he intended to leave when his current appointment expires, White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.

Bush planned to meet with Bolton and his wife later Monday in the Oval Office.

Bush said he accepted Bolton's decision with deep regret.

"He served his country with extraordinary dedication and skill, assembling coalitions that addressed some of the most consequential issues facing the international community," the president said. "During his tenure, he articulately advocated the positions and values of the United States and advanced the expansion of democracy and liberty.

"Ambassador Bolton led the successful negotiations that resulted in unanimous Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea's military and nuclear activities. He built consensus among our allies on the need for Iran to suspend the enrichment and reprocessing of uranium," Bush added. "His efforts to promote the cause of peace in Darfur resulted in a peacekeeping commitment by the United Nations. He made the case for United Nations reform because he cares about the institution, and wants it to become more credible and effective."

Bolton, who pushed strongly for U.N. reform, has had strained relations with many in the U.N. Secretariat, led by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and has repeatedly called for all top U.N. officials to leave when Annan steps down as U.N. chief on Dec. 31 and is replaced by Ban Ki-moon.

"I think Ambassador Bolton did the job he was expected to do," Annan said Monday morning when asked about Bolton's resignation. "He came at a time when we had lots of tough issues from reform to issues on Iran and North Korea. I think as a representative of the U.S, government, he pressed ahead with the instructions he had been given and tried to work as effectively as he could."

As late as last month, Bush, through his top aides, said he would not relent in his defense of Bolton, despite unwavering opposition from Democrats who view Bolton as too combative for international diplomacy.

In a letter to Bush, dated last Friday, Bolton offered no reason for his decision.

"After careful consideration, I have concluded that my service in your administration should end when the current recess appoint expires," Bolton wrote.

Wild Thing's comment.....

I know we knew it was coming but nonetheless it is still sad and has me very angry.

That F'ing Chaffee and the Rats won this round! They were elected to do a job! Reublicans should have behaved like leaders, like the majority they are instead of behaving as visitors!!!

Bush might as well nominate Pee Wee Herman. That's what the Lib's want. Islamofascists are hugging themselves and squealing with delight.

Thank You for your service, Mr. Bolton. It was refreshing to have someone in that den of thieves who actually stood up proudly for America.

God bless you.I am so sorry Mr. Bolton, for non men like Chafee that exist and for the vile Rats that hate America so much.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 4, 2006 02:42 PM


This is a sad day for American.

Posted by: BobF at December 4, 2006 03:00 PM

Is Harriet Myers busy ?

If Kerry thinks this is a good idea then it is bad for the country. If Kerry had been elected you can bet BJ Clinton would now be ambassador to the Useless Nation.

Posted by: Mark at December 4, 2006 03:11 PM

The Communists have just won another round in the battle against freedom. :(

Posted by: Jack at December 4, 2006 04:25 PM

Chafee is a crapweasel. He's always been a crapweasel. The Republican Party spent millions trying to get the bastard back into the Senate, where he could sit with Spectre and McCain and the pie-faced loser Lindsay Graham, and Snow and the other compromising jellyfish who sold us down the drain.

So, if the party supports them, it deserves to lose, and the bloodletting will always involve a loss of a few heroes like Bolton. This is the disgrace of cowardice.

Posted by: Rhod at December 4, 2006 06:18 PM

I would like to see Bolton take over the RNC. He might be the ideal person to get rid of the deadweight there and get it on track. The RNC exists only to raise vast sums of money thru childish mass mailings. It does nothing to bring the Republican Party into the real world or to remind elected repubs of who elected them and what they were elected to do.

Posted by: TomR at December 4, 2006 06:52 PM

Bob it sure is, very sad.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 4, 2006 07:26 PM

Mark, I read someplace long ago that Clinton would love to have the job. UGH! Ahd yessss your right good name to call it too, "Useless Nation".

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 4, 2006 07:28 PM

Jack they sure have and they will be gloating about it in the D.C. bars tonight, toasting their victory. yuk!

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 4, 2006 07:28 PM

Rhod that is a perfect name for Chafee, "crapweasel".

"This is the disgrace of cowardice." sure is!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 4, 2006 07:30 PM

Tom, I was thinking how they gave opur troops training in touchie feelie stuff, that the left decided they just had to have. grrrr

Then I say ok now it is time to give the politicians a class in how remember it is we the people that gave them their win and they better not forget it either.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 4, 2006 07:32 PM

This is truly sad. The thirst for control, hatred for conservatives and this country, is endemic of the left, and it was on full display with how they handled Bolton and his nomination.

Posted by: raz0r at December 4, 2006 08:23 PM

If I were Bush, I wouldn't bother nominating anyone else. The Senate has made it clear that having strong American advocacy in the U.N. isn't a priority for them. So why should it be a priority for the White House? There are lots of more important things to be done.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at December 4, 2006 11:55 PM

razOr, yes their actions speak loud and clear how the left feels about America.....and it is very dnagerous.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 5, 2006 03:25 AM

Cousin Dave,yes it sure isn't a priority with the left. They want one of their own, someone weak to have the job.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 5, 2006 03:27 AM