John Bolton has resigned as U.N. Ambassador. With the Democrats taking control of the Senate, there was no chance of his being confirmed, and his recess appointment will end when the new Congress convenes.
Joe Biden, who will be Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that he saw “no point in considering Mr. Bolton’s nomination again.” President Bush accepted Bolton’s resignation with regret; his comments were more on the mark:
President Bush, in a statement, said he was “deeply disappointed that a handful of United States senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate.”
“They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time,” Bush said. “This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their nation.”
“He served his country with extraordinary dedication and skill, assembling coalitions that addressed some of the most consequential issues facing the international community,” the president said. “During his tenure, he articulately advocated the positions and values of the United States and advanced the expansion of democracy and liberty.
“Ambassador Bolton led the successful negotiations that resulted in unanimous Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea’s military and nuclear activities. He built consensus among our allies on the need for Iran to suspend the enrichment and reprocessing of uranium,” Bush added. “His efforts to promote the cause of peace in Darfur resulted in a peacekeeping commitment by the United Nations. He made the case for United Nations reform because he cares about the institution, and wants it to become more credible and effective.”
It’s a sad day for U.S. foreign policy; not the last one, I’m afraid, with the Democrats now resurgent.
UPDATE: This is just awful: Drudge is reporting that George Mitchell is on the “short list” to replace Bolton. What next? Tom Daschle for Secretary of State? John Edwards for the Supreme Court? Let’s hope the list has some better names on it.