In 2005, the Bush administration considered John Bolton so important as its point man in the U.N. for its campaign against Iran that when the U.S. Senate refused to confirm him as U.S. Ambassador there, President George W. Bush installed him in the post anyway, using a constitutionally dubious power to make recess appointments. -- Now, a year and a half later, Boltons term at the U.N. is about to run out. -- The Financial Times reported early Friday that despite the Bush administrations desire to bring Bolton back for a Senate confirmation vote, Joseph Biden, . . . who will become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, on Thursday said there was no point for the committee to even discuss the appointment. -- Reporter Demetri Sevastopulo noted that Mr. Bush could give Mr. Bolton a second recess appointment but Senate rules would then require that he does not receive a salary. -- BBC News said that Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), a Foreign Relations Committee member who opposed the Iraq war in 2003 and Bolton in 2005 but who lost anyway on Nov. 7, disappointed the White House by saying that he still opposes Mr. Bolton's appointment. -- Sen. Chafee added: I am not going to endorse something the American people have spoken out against." -- John Bolton is thus a likely second high-profile casualty — after Donald Rumsfeld — for the Bush administration following the mid-term elections. -- Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who has led opposition to Bolton, said, I intend to make every effort to ensure that this nomination doesn't get approved, Reuters reported. -- The Washington Post reported Friday that a White House official . . . said the administration had explored options for keeping Bolton at the United Nations. -- Contradicting the Financial Timess quote above, the Post said a second recess appointment is not possible. -- Quoting an inside source, the Post reported that consideration is being given to making Bolton an acting ambassador. But the official, who would discuss internal deliberations only on the condition of anonymity, said none of the options is appealing, especially given the strong opposition shown by the Democrats, who are poised to take over Congress. -- If there is no confirmation, we assume he'll probably resign, the official said. Several administration officials speculated that Zalmay Khalilzad, the ambassador to Iraq, could be a candidate to replace Bolton. ...
BUSH ASKS CONGRESS TO APPROVE BOLTON
By Demetri Sevastopulo
Financial Times (UK)
November 10, 2006
President George W. Bush has asked Congress to approve John Bolton, his controversial ambassador to the United Nations, for a second term, in the face of opposition from key Democrats.
The move comes in spite of conciliatory rhetoric from Mr. Bush on Thursday that he wants to work with Democrats after they routed the Republicans in the congressional mid-term elections.
Mr. Bolton, who once remarked that If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldnt make a bit of difference, received a recess appointment last year after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opposed his nomination. Recess appointments do not require Senate approval.
Democrats, and one Republican, on the committee opposed sending Mr. Bolton, who has a poor reputation internationally, to the U.N., following multiple allegations that he twisted intelligence and bullied colleagues who failed to endorse his hardline views.
Tony Snow, White House press secretary, on Thursday said Mr. Bush discussed his desire to keep Mr. Bolton at the U.N. at a breakfast meeting on Thursday with Republican congressional leaders.
This is something that we think is important, that he stay there, said Mr. Snow.
But White House hopes of keeping Mr. Bolton in New York were immediately dashed when Lincoln Chafee, a Rhode Island Republican member of the foreign relations committee who just lost his seat in Tuesdays elections, said he would oppose Mr Bolton.
Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat who will become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, on Thursday said there was no point for the committee to even discuss the appointment.
I see no point in considering Mr. Boltons nomination again in the Foreign Relations Committee because regardless of what happens there, he is unlikely to be considered by the full Senate, said Mr. Biden.
The push to give Mr. Bolton another term comes as the Security Council must deal with a number of crucial issues, including on Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Lebanon. Mr. Bolton has also been the U.S. point man on U.N. reform.
Sean McCormack, the State department spokesman, said Mr. Bolton deserved an up-or-down vote, meaning the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should approve his nomination so it can be brought to the Senate floor for a final vote.
He has been extraordinarily effective up there at the U.N. And now is not the time to have a gap in your U.N. ambassador.
Mr. Bush could give Mr. Bolton a second recess appointment but Senate rules would then require that he does not receive a salary. Asked whether that was a possibility, Mr. McCormack replied: I dont know how enthusiastic he would be about working without pay. I havent asked him that question. Thats kind of a personal question.
--Additional reporting by Mark Turner at the United Nations 2.
AMBASSADOR BOLTON NEXT CASUALTY
By Jonathan Beale
November 10, 2006
Democrat gains in the U.S. mid-term elections have all but killed off John Bolton's prospects of staying on as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
His appointment was temporary as he failed to get the backing of the U.S. Senate with a Republican majority.
On Thursday, the White House resubmitted Mr. Bolton's nomination for the Senate's approval.
But Democrats have indicated that they will continue to block the appointment of the conservative Mr. Bolton.
Even when the Republicans were in the majority, U.S. President George W. Bush could not persuade the Senate to confirm John Bolton as his controversial choice.
He was forced to appoint the outspoken diplomat while Congress was in recess, making the job only temporary.
The White House now has one last chance for the president to use his Republican majority before the new Senate convenes in January.
But the Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee, who was defeated in the U.S. mid-term polls, still says he opposes Mr. Bolton's appointment.
Mr. Chafee said: "I am not going to endorse something the American people have spoken out against."
Democratic Senator Joe Biden, who is likely to chair the Foreign Relations Committee, said he saw no point in considering Mr Bolton's nomination.
Mr. Bolton may soon be the second high-profile casualty -- after Donald Rumsfeld -- in the Bush administration following the mid-term elections.
SENATORS DISMISS NEW BUSH BID FOR BOLTON
By Caren Bohan and Susan Cornwell
November 9, 2006
WASHINGTON -- A key Republican senator joined Democrats on Thursday in dismissing a fresh White House request to confirm John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, imperiling the administration's effort to keep him in the post.
President George W. Bush urged leaders of the outgoing Republican-led Senate to confirm Bolton, a favorite of conservatives, before power in Congress shifts to the Democrats early next year.
"This is something that we think is important, that he stay there (at the U.N.)," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
But Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee joined Democrats in saying he would not support the nomination, meaning it would likely fail.
Opponents of the nomination said Tuesday's elections in which Bush's Republican Party took a drubbing amid Iraq-fueled anger showed a new direction was needed in U.S. foreign policies.
Democrats blocked Bolton's confirmation last year, saying he had used an earlier job as top U.S. diplomat for arms control to manipulate intelligence to promote his hawkish views.
But Bolton has been serving as the U.N. envoy under a temporary appointment by Bush that allows him to serve until the new Congress convenes in January.
"On Tuesday, the American people sent a clear message of dissatisfaction with the foreign policy approach of the Bush administration," said Chafee.
Chafee, from Rhode Island, was defeated in Tuesday's election despite his opposition to the Iraq war.
Critics accuse Bolton of having a go it alone stance on foreign policy that they say is ill-suited to the job of U.N. ambassador. But conservatives view him as a strong advocate for U.S. interests.
Chafee is on the Senate Foreign Relations committee and his opposition means Bolton cannot get a favorable vote on the panel, where all the Democrats oppose the nominee.
While Republican leaders still could send the nomination to the Senate floor, some Democrats have vowed to use procedural rules to block it.
If Bush does not withdraw the nomination, Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who has led opposition to Bolton, said, "I intend to make every effort to ensure that this nomination doesn't get approved."
Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, who is expected to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the new Congress, said Bolton's nomination was "going nowhere."
Biden faulted the White House for refusing to release documents Democrats considered relevant to the nomination.
The outgoing Congress will convene next week to wrap up its business before year's end. Bush also wants confirmation during that time for former CIA Director Robert Gates, his nominee to replace U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States needed someone like Bolton at the United Nations to deal with issues such as Sudan, North Korea and Iran.
He said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had spoken to congressional leaders from both parties and "is ready to do whatever she needs to do in order to help John get confirmed."
(Additional reporting by Sue Pleming)
BOLTON MAY NOT RETURN AS U.N. ENVOY
By Dafna Linzer
November 10, 2006
Key lawmakers said yesterday they would block the nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, all but killing chances for him to remain in the post past December.
For nearly 20 months, President Bush has tried, unsuccessfully, to get Bolton confirmed in a job he has held since August 2005. Bolton then received a recess appointment after not getting enough support in the Senate.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and its presumed chairman when the Democrats take control of the Senate in January, said yesterday that Bolton's nomination is "going nowhere."
"I see no point in considering Mr. Bolton's nomination again in the Foreign Relations Committee because, regardless of what happens there, he is unlikely to be considered by the full Senate," Biden said in a statement.
The White House had hoped Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.), a moderate Republican who earlier raised questions about Bolton and the administration's policies in the Middle East, would support Bolton after the election. But Chafee lost his seat Tuesday.
"On Tuesday, the American people sent a clear message of dissatisfaction with the foreign policy approach of the Bush administration," Chafee said in a statement. "To confirm Mr. Bolton to the position of U.N. ambassador would fly in the face of the clear consensus of the country that a new direction is called for." Chafee said Bolton lacks the "collaborative approach" needed to make the United States "the strongest country in a peaceful world."
Without Chafee's support, Republicans on the committee do not have enough votes to recommend Bolton's confirmation.
Bolton's nomination, in early spring of 2005, fell apart within weeks. The Senate committee hearings were dominated by heated testimony from former colleagues and several intelligence officials; they described Bolton as a bully who pressured analysts, cherry-picked intelligence and hid information from the secretary of state. The committee did not support the nomination but agreed to send it to the full Senate for consideration.
Several Republicans then joined with Democrats to block a vote on the nomination until the White House turned over documents relating to Bolton's tenure as undersecretary of state for arms control during Bush's first term. The White House refused, insisting that Bolton deserved a vote by the full Senate.
Bolton's recess appointment is set to expire at the end of December, when the current Congress goes out of session. With only a few months remaining, the White House tried again to get Bolton confirmed during the summer. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee came to the administration's aid, lobbying heavily for Bolton's nomination. It persuaded several Democrats to support Bolton but the nomination was snagged by Chafee.
White House spokesman Tony Snow would not predict yesterday whether Bolton would get confirmed or say what the White House's contingency plans are if the nomination falls through again. "This is something that we think is important, that he stay there," Snow told reporters.
National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley urged senators to judge Bolton solely on his performance at the United Nations over the past year. "I would hope that people would step back, take a look at John's record up there, and reach the judgment that the president has reached -- that he does a terrific job for the American people."
In a statement yesterday, Bush named five congressional priorities he hopes will be tackled before the end of the year. Bolton was not on the list.
Yesterday, a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the administration had explored options for keeping Bolton at the United Nations. A second recess appointment is not possible, but officials considered making Bolton an "acting ambassador." But the official, who would discuss internal deliberations only on the condition of anonymity, said none of the options is appealing, especially given the strong opposition shown by the Democrats, who are poised to take over Congress.
If there is no confirmation, "we assume he'll probably resign," the official said. Several administration officials speculated that Zalmay Khalilzad, the ambassador to Iraq, could be a candidate to replace Bolton.