Thoughts of an American Centrist

Friday, April 22, 2005

Powell Lends his support to the rational people trying to defeat the Bolton Nomination

It seems another very influential moderate Repbulican has some reservations against John Bolton's nomination. Colin Powell has recently met with some of the very Republican Senators delaying the nomination in order to voice his concerns about the embattled nominee. From a The Washington Post:

"Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell is emerging as a behind-the-scenes player in the battle over John R. Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the United Nations, privately telling at least two key Republican lawmakers that Bolton is a smart but very problematic government official, according to Republican sources.

Powell spoke in recent days with Sens. Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.) and Chuck Hagel (Neb.), two of three GOP senators on the Foreign Relations Committee who have raised concerns about Bolton's confirmation, the sources said. Powell did not advise the senators to oppose Bolton, but offered a frank assessment of the nominee as a man who was challenging to work with on personnel and policy matters, according to two people familiar with the conversations."

As usual, the Moderate Voice has a great review on this topic.

Unlike some other critics, this negative assessment is coming from Bolton's former boss. Ouch. In fact, Powell is the only one of six present and former Republican Secretaries of State that did not sign his name to a letter of recommendation for Mr. Bolton.

I honestly don't see how the nomination is going to stay on course. One of the five most influential Republicans in the country - not to mention the one with the most experience with Mr. Bolton - has secretly been lobbying against him.

Why on earth is the president spending political capitol on this guy? Is it only a face saving move? Is he trying to show he can't be bullied by his former "not quite the team player," cabinet member? Bolton is clearly not the man for the job, and the President is building resentment within his own party by pushing him. Not to mention, with this kind of confirmation fight, the man will be a ticking timebomb. He'll be watched like a hawk at the UN, and any misstep will be absolutely pounced upon by the anti-Bush forces in the world.

The President should drop this nominee like his name was "Kerik."


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