Lincoln Chafee held up a vote on John Bolton’s confirmation in the Foreign Relations Committee, saying he has more questions. He mentioned expanded Jewish settlements in the West Bank, in particular. Chafee faces a tough primary challenge on Tuesday, and probably did not want to commit either way. Without Chafee’s vote the committee would hang at 9-9, and the vote could not be sent to floor with a recommendation.

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) is reportedly encouraging his Democratic colleagues to filibuster Bolton if he comes up for a vote. I hear Frist cannot possibly muster more than 59 votes, and therefore a filibuster will likely succeed. Some of the more prominent new supporters of Bolton include Senator Voinovich (R-OH) who opposed him last year, and lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who loves his tough pro-Israel, anti-Iran stances.

As for Chafee, if he loses his primary he will probably see no further reason to vote for Bolton. If he wins his primary he will want to tack to the left, and therefore will probably oppose Bolton.

It will be difficult for the Mustache to make it through and win confirmation. If he does not, he will have to be replaced in January, when his recess appointment expires.

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