- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2006

Democrats yesterday remained opposed to the nomination of John R. Bolton to be U.N. ambassador, a year after President Bush bypassed a filibuster by Democrats and appointed him to the post on a temporary basis.

“When the Senate considered this nomination last year, I strongly opposed the confirmation of Mr. Bolton to the position of United States permanent representative to the United Nations on both procedural and substantive grounds,” Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, said yesterday at the confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I remain opposed to this nominee.”

Last year, Democrats blocked Mr. Bolton’s nomination because of his brusque manner and past comments showing disdain for the world body, which Mr. Bush has charged him with reforming. For years, the United Nation has been beset by ineffectiveness and scandal.

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After months of stalling, Mr. Bush “recess appointed” Mr. Bolton to the position a year ago next Tuesday. Unless he is confirmed by the Senate, his tenure will expire when the new Congress is seated in January.

Despite Democrats’ continued opposition, Mr. Bolton has won at least one new ally. Last week, Sen. George V. Voinovich, the Ohio Republican who opposed him over the concerns shared by Democrats, announced he would support the nomination.

“I think one of the concerns everyone had was you might go up there and do your own thing and didn’t understand how important consensus was,” Mr. Voinovich told Mr. Bolton during yesterday’s hearing. “And I think you’ve been very, very active in working on consensus to get things done in the United Nations.”

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told reporters yesterday that he had not made any decisions about whether the Democratic caucus will support another filibuster of the Bolton nomination. But Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee were unyielding in their criticism of Mr. Bolton.

Mr. Dodd yesterday recounted accusations from last year that Mr. Bolton is a “bully and a bean counter” and added some new accusations based on his year of service in New York.

“My objection isn’t that he’s a bully, but that he has been an ineffective bully and can’t win the day when it comes — when it really counts,” Mr. Dodd said yesterday.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat and ranking member on the committee, said his overriding concern is that Mr. Bolton and Mr. Bush don’t “really think diplomacy is all that consequential.”

“My concern is that at the moment of the greatest need for diplomacy in our recent history, we are not particularly effective at it,” Mr. Biden said.

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