April 20, 2005


Ohio Senator Again Clashes Over Bush Pick (MALIA RULON, April 19, 2005,
Associated Press)

The Ohio senator who surprised fellow Republicans on Tuesday with his sudden concerns about President Bush's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations is known as a maverick.

Sen. George Voinovich was the rare Republican holdout against Bush's 2003 tax cut plan, an administration priority. Despite intense lobbying from the White House, he stood firm. The president had to settle for a smaller tax cut package.

This time, inside the packed Senate Foreign Relations Committee room, Voinovich took another stand against the administration by suggesting the committee delay a vote on Bush's nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador.

"I've heard enough today that I don't feel comfortable about voting for Mr. Bolton," Voinovich told fellow committee members. He previously had said he would vote for Bolton.

After Voinovich's statement, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who also had expressed reservations about Bolton's nomination, also asked for a delay on the vote.

Republicans hold a 10-8 majority on the panel, which was expected to pass Bolton's nomination quickly. Voinovich's change of mind came after Democrats brought up fresh allegations of unbecoming conduct by Bolton toward subordinates.

"I think one's interpersonal skills and their relationship with their fellow man is a very important ingredient in anyone that works for me. I call it the kitchen test. Do we feel comfortable about the kitchen test?" Voinovich said.

The nominee does sound like quite a phallus, but the question is: mightn't he be exactly the kind of s.o.b. the U.N. needs in its kitchen right now?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 20, 2005 12:00 AM

Bush should simply say that, if the Senate in all its majesty deems it important to have a UN Ambassador between now and January 21, 2009, it can confirm Bolton. Either that, or send up someone who would drive them even more nuts, say, Richard Perle.

Posted by: Dan at April 20, 2005 9:15 AM

Alan Keyes.

Posted by: oj at April 20, 2005 9:27 AM

The accusations against Bolton seem to be very thin stuff (he yelled at subordinates, clashed with superiors) and it is hysterical that the Senate prima donnas (who probably act the same way) are after Bolton on this.

Voinovich should be slapped silly. All indications are that he blindsided the GOP with his last minute change. He claimed he wasn't prepared to vote because he wasn't up to speed on all the allegations. That is analogous to a football player who spends all week in the game prep meetings showing up for the game saying he doesn't know what to do.

What worries me is that I saw the end of this on CSPAN where Luger agreed to let the Dems ask more questions (written and oral) of Bolton. You just know the Dems are going drag this thing out forever to get something to prevent Bolton from getting passed.

Voinovich (and other GOP Senators) should know this and should have put this nomination to bed now. And if Bolton does go down it doesn't bode well for GOP cojones to end the judge impass.

Posted by: AWW at April 20, 2005 9:42 AM

The GOP is trying to argue that it's a good thing he's a prick because the UN needs one, but he's not a prick. Tough to swallow, so to speak.

Posted by: oj at April 20, 2005 10:09 AM

That last line reminds me of Gary's speech in North Korea in the movie "Team America" regarding who the world needs to deal with the -------- that infest it.

Posted by: Mikey at April 20, 2005 10:47 AM

I like the Alan Keyes idea, though I realize you were probably joking.

Posted by: h-man at April 20, 2005 2:03 PM

With GOP Senators like these, even Howard Dean can win in 2006.

Posted by: Peter at April 20, 2005 4:03 PM

Voinivich is such an idiot. Blackwell for governor.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 20, 2005 11:32 PM