May 28, 2005


McCain Urging Accord on Bolton and Secret Documents (DOUGLAS JEHL and CARL HULSE, 5/28/05, NY Times)

One of John R. Bolton's leading Republican backers, Senator John McCain of Arizona, signaled his support on Friday for a compromise in which the White House might allow Senate leaders access to highly classified documents in return for a final vote early next month on Mr. Bolton's nomination as United Nations ambassador.

The conciliatory signal from Mr. McCain came as Senate leaders traded blame over who was responsible for the miscalculation that led to Mr. Bolton's nomination being blocked Thursday. But the White House showed no sign that the Bush administration might change course. [...]

Appearing on the Fox News Channel, Mr. McCain reiterated his support for Mr. Bolton. He also praised an argument made by, among others, Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, who has urged the administration to provide the Senate with more information related to Mr. Bolton's conduct. Senators calling on the administration to share the documents "have some substance to their argument," Mr. McCain said. [...]

Mr. McCain was among 53 Republicans left stunned by the Democratic move, which foiled a Republican-led effort to bring the nomination to a final roll-call vote.

The senator had played host at a meeting on Monday night in which seven Republicans struck a deal with seven Democrats in the Senate to avert a showdown over filibusters of judicial nominations. Three of those Democrats - Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana - joined Republicans in voting to end the debate on Mr. Bolton.

Mr. McCain's comments on Friday suggested that he might once again see himself as playing a broker's role, though he did not say what he believed a compromise might entail.

Only two of the 55 Republicans in the Senate have said they would oppose Mr. Bolton, making it likely that he would win confirmation in a roll-call vote.

He's put this pressure on himself, to show that Democrats are interested in moving senate business. If he's the one who gets Bolton through some heads will explode on the Left and the Right.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 28, 2005 12:00 AM

On the other hand, if his ego has misled him into thinking he can herd the Senate of cats, he is in for an embarassment.

Posted by: jd watson at May 28, 2005 4:25 AM

McCain making a deal between squishy Senators on both sides of the aisle in one thing. But what in the past 4+ years makes anyone think that this administration will give up any of its prerogatives to the legislative branch?

Posted by: b at May 28, 2005 11:38 AM

WH is not going to release more documents, period, end of story. I think the smat thing to do is just to hang tough, demand a vote, trash the Dems for hurting the US by leaving the UN seat vacant (assuming someone can say that with a straight face) and adopt the Andrew Jackson approach: There will be a UN Ambassador when the Senate confirms John Bolton.

Posted by: Dan at May 28, 2005 11:41 AM

Condi testifying before the 9-11 committee.

Posted by: oj at May 28, 2005 12:06 PM

Democrats want notes on meetings within the executive branch. They want classified information. They wanted the notes from Cheney's meetings as an energy plan was hash-out.

Fine. Let Congressional Democrats turn over the notes of meetings they have then. We know who Bush and Cheney met with. We don't know who Reid and Pelosi meet with The public has a right to know, doesn't it?

Posted by: David at May 28, 2005 12:15 PM

Whatever happens, please don't let McCain read the Bolton documents and then start crying on the Senate floor. I don't think I can take another episode like the last one with Vonivich...

Posted by: John at May 28, 2005 12:20 PM

oj: That was just to give Bush's hand-picked heir experience for her VP and POTUS days soon to come...

Posted by: b at May 28, 2005 12:31 PM

The Senate is recessed for the Holiday. Bush should give bolton a recess apointment and tell the Senate where to stick it.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at May 28, 2005 12:45 PM

But it yielded a White House prerogative

Posted by: oj at May 28, 2005 1:31 PM


He will never do it again.

Posted by: Dan at May 28, 2005 2:07 PM


He will never do it again.

Posted by: Dan at May 28, 2005 2:08 PM

Right on Robert S. I hope he'll do it just to hear the moaning and crying from Byrdland.

Posted by: Genecis at May 28, 2005 2:29 PM


Principle yields when you want stuff.

Posted by: oj at May 28, 2005 3:16 PM

Your continual pimping for McCain is mind boggling. The Senator from Arizona is not solving these problems, he is creating them and then trying to ride to the rescue so as to be viewed the hero. He is the real life equivalent of Syndrome from The Incredibles.

Posted by: Thom at May 28, 2005 7:13 PM

If Mr. Incredible had just been a bit nicer to the kid he wouldn't have become Syndrome. Show Senator McCain some love.

Posted by: oj at May 28, 2005 7:44 PM