Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bolton Hearings (2006 Edition)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the re-nomination of John Bolton to continue as U.S. ambassador to the UN are being held today. Although Republicans predict rapid confirmation, Democrats remain opposed and are threatening a filibuster if the Bush administration fails to turn over documents that were requested but never released during last year's failed confirmation effort.

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said that Bolton "clearly has an aversion, in my view, to building consensus." Ranking minority member Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) also highlighted Bolton's diplomatic deficiencies: "My concern is that at the moment of the greatest need for diplomacy in our recent history, we are not particularly effective at it."

For background on the hearings (including an assessment of Bolton by recently retired German ambassador to the UN Gunter Pleuger), see this story that appeared in today's Washington Post. The Post also has a transcript of the hearings available here.