The nomination was also stymied by the campaign led by Dodd. Since he returned to work Tuesday after Congress' summer recess, Dodd has been gauging opinion among Democrats, and Thursday was ready to use a filibuster - a tool he rarely uses - to stop the confirmation.
He said he was still disturbed by reports that Bolton tried first to get intelligence analysts to change their views to match his, and then tried to get those analysts fired. Bolton has said he never intended to have anyone dismissed.
Dodd was not convinced. "He stepped over the line," the senator said Thursday.
Many people have come to see Bolton as yet another symbol of the Administrations failed foreign policy of "unilateral action". Strongly opposing this nomination is an obvious way for Sen. Dodd to bolster his foreign policy credentials and at the same time separate himself from Bush's foreign policy without making a too big a splash as he gears up for his presidential run. His statement on the senate floor, posted on his website, seems to confirm this:
"America’s capacity to respond to this global clarion call has been seriously circumscribed by the Bush Administration’s preemptive war of choice in Iraq – circumscribed militarily, politically, economically. The options have become fewer since March 19, 2003 as the world has become more dangerous and the reputation and global standing of the United States weaker.
...Over the years, Mr. Bolton evidenced great skepticism and disdain for the United Nations and multilateral diplomacy generally."[emphasis mine]
I think it's refreshing to see that Dodd is willing to stand up to the president on their disastrous handling of foreign and diplomatic affairs. I am not very optimistic about his presidential hopes, mostly because he hasn't come out strongly for any big issues. This seems to be a nice change.
Quasi-Update:Dodd has sided with Lieberman and the Republicans on the use of cluster bombs in populated areas. I guess my compliments were a tad premature.
David Lightman. GOP Hits Snag On Bolton Confirmation. Hartford Courant. 9/8/06.
Floor Statement of Senator Dodd on Ambassador John Bolton's Nomination. 9/8/06.