Aug. 2, 2005
Bolton’s appointment disappoints Voinovich
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
WASHINGTON — Sen. George Voinovich, the most prominent Republican opponent of John Bolton’s nomination as U.N. ambassador, on Monday pledged his support for the newly appointed ambassador despite doubts about his suitability and effectiveness.
“I’m disappointed,” the Ohio senator said after Bush used an uncommon recess appointment to install Bolton in the top diplomatic post. Voinovich said bypassing the usual requirement of Senate confirmation for a nominee “will only add to John Bolton’s baggage and his lack of credibility with the United Nations.”
But he added that, “as a good soldier, I’m going to do what I can to be supportive of John.”
Ohio’s other senator, Republican Mike DeWine, has supported Bolton and approved of the recess appointment.
“The U.N. is a tough place,” DeWine spokesman Jeff Sadosky said. “The president deserves to have his person in the job.”
Bush exercised his constitutional right to name Bolton ambassador through a recess appointment after the Senate adjourned Friday for its monthlong August break. The appointment will last until January 2007, halfway through Bush’s second term.
Democratic opponents had used a parliamentary maneuver to indefinitely block a Senate vote on Bolton, an outspoken critic of the United Nations. Backers of the nominee said he had enough votes to be confirmed if there were a vote.
Voinovich, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, turned against Bolton in May after confirmation hearings unearthed reports that the blunt State Department official had mistreated subordinates, was intolerant of opposing points of view and had an inflexible view of the world.
While expressing hope Bolton would grow in the job, Voinovich said he was concerned about Bolton’s ability to work with European nations to prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear weapons.
“This thing could end up in the U.N. Security Council, and I think that if I were folks that were there, I would be real careful about who I would send to represent us in terms of that issue,” he said.
Voinovich said he was sending Bolton a copy of a book, “Heart and Soul of Effective Management” by James F. Hind, which he said served him well as mayor of Cleveland and governor of Ohio.
“It’s basically a Christian approach to managing and motivating people, and I thought he might read and perhaps ponder (it) and take into consideration ... how he treats people up at the United Nations,” he said.