Robert Novak (via Real Clear Politics) on the “Bolton fiasco.” Novak notes that, although Voinovich’s expression of doubt prevented Bolton from getting out of committee last week, it won’t necessarily be enough to assuage the Ohio Senator’s doubts — fellow committee members Chafee and Hagel must now be brought back into the fold, as well.
Accordingly, Novak sees the prospects for confirming Bolton as “grim.” He blames the fiasco with Voinovich on the administration. Voinovich, who hadn’t attended any committee meetings, apparently heard about Democratic allegations that Bolton has mistreated subordinates for the first time from Democrats on the day the committee was supposed to vote. Says Novak, “since Voinovich is notoriously quirky and prone to break his Republican leash, the question arises why the White House was not more attuned to making sure he was safely on board.”
Novak also blows the whistle on Senator Dodd’s bogus claim that it is “rare indeed for me to express objection to a nominee.” According to Novak:
In truth, Dodd has been a serial objector to Republican nominees over the years. He has voted against Martin Feldstein (Council of Economic Advisers), James Watt (interior secretary), James Edwards (energy secretary), Raymond Donovan (labor secretary), William Clark (deputy secretary of state and interior secretary), Rex Lee (solicitor general), C. Everett Koop (surgeon general), Kenneth Adelman (arms control director), Edwin Meese (attorney general), Robert Gates (CIA director), Ted Olson (solicitor general), Porter Goss (CIA director), Alberto Gonzales (attorney general), and Supreme Court nominees William Rehnquist, Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. He also opposed Bolton for his current under secretary of state position and kept the nomination of anti-Castroite Otto Reich as assistant secretary of state from even reaching the Senate floor.
Dodd, it is true, did not oppose the unsuccessful nomination of John Tower to be Defense Secretary under Bush I. However, as was Time Magazine speculated back then, this may well have due to the fact that, in 1967, Tower was one of only five Senators who voted not to censure Dodd’s father, Thomas Dodd, for corruption.