It sounds to me as though John Bolton’s nomination to be Ambassador to the United Nations is almost dead. Colin Powell, Bolton’s former boss, has been consulted by Hagel and Chafee, and he did not give a ringing endorsement:
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. Wash Post: Free Reg
Some job referrals are luke-warm, and others are overtly hostile. In this case, we have both:
Those who know Powell best said two recent events provide insight into his thinking. Powell did not sign a letter from seven other former U.S. secretaries of state or defense supporting Bolton, and his former chief of staff, Lawrence B. Wilkerson, recently told the New York Times that Bolton would be an “abysmal ambassador.”
Wilkerson doesn’t pull any punches. He clearly hates Bolton. So, it’s understandable that Chafee is wavering. Bolton’s former bosses characterize him as difficult to work with and an abysmal candidate for the job. What could be clearer?
Chafee told reporters Wednesday he is “much less likely” to support Bolton because of questions about his credibility.
Yes. In addition to being a pain in the ass, and a terrible nominee, he lied to the committee. It should be clear to all Americans, the Senate, and the White House, that it is time to pull Bolton’s nomination. But, apparently, it isn’t.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on the Senate floor that Bolton’s temper should not disqualify him. “I believe John Bolton could provide the medicine the United Nations needs,” he said.