After declaring he would vote in favor of John Bolton’s nomination to be our next UN ambassador, Sen. Lincoln Chafee is now leaning towards a No vote.
Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee that is weighing the nomination, “is less likely right now” to vote to confirm Bolton, his spokesman Stephen Hourahan said in an interview. The senator, he said, “wants to get to the bottom” of new allegations about Bolton’s dealings with subordinates and classified information. Until Tuesday, when committee Democrats attacked Bolton’s record and won a three-week extension to investigate it, Chafee repeatedly had said he was reluctantly inclined to vote for Bolton.
A No from Chafee would result in an 8-8 tie, possibly sending the nominee to the Senate floor with no recommendation. If one other Republican votes No, the Bolton nomination is dead.
Two other committee Republicans — Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and George V. Voinovich of Ohio — said Tuesday they also want to probe the new allegations before deciding whether to support Bolton.
Meanwhile, Chafee is sending signals to the White House that they can still save face on this one – by withdrawing the nomination.
When reporters in the Capitol asked Chafee yesterday whether Bush should withdraw Bolton’s nomination, he said: “It’s too early for that. We all need to talk.” When asked the same question later by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Chafee replied: “We have to discuss that among ourselves, Republicans, I think,” and he named the committee’s GOP members. Blitzer said, “And you might pass a quiet message to the White House after a discussion like that?” Chafee replied: “Yes, I think that would be advisable.”
Ain’t this shit fun?