Senator Joe Lieberman has endorsed making Bush appointee John Bolton's post at the UN permanent. This puts him at odds once again with his own party, most notably with Chris Dodd who has led the opposition to Bolton's confirmation.
Lieberman made these statements in a meeting with the NY Daily News editorial board.
This afternoon Democratic Candidate Ned Lamont decried Lierberman's support for both John Bolton and the Bush administration's foreign policy.
From Lamont's statement:
Once again, Joe Lieberman has broken with the people of Connecticut . A year ago, he opposed John Bolton's nomination to the United Nations because he was unqualified. At that time, he had the power of a bipartisan majority behind him. Today, when the political winds shift in the other direction, Senator Lieberman is supporting John Bolton, who has no more experience or qualifications for the job. That's not leadership.
Today it seems as if Lieberman's only constituents are George Bush and Dick Cheney. His support for the administration's foreign policies is wrong for America and wrong for Connecticut . The world is in crisis, and we need a UN Ambassador who's respected and effective at the UN. With major threats to this country such as Iraq , Iran , and North Korea , we need to have someone there who can deal diplomatically with our allies, advance our interests effectively, and keep America safe. That description does not fit John Bolton.
Because of the Iraq war and the administration's cowboy diplomacy, America is more hated than ever in the world, and Bolton just pours kerosene on the fire. He helped doctor intelligence to better suit his needs, and when security analysts protested, he fired them. After his recess appointment, he's had a year to prove himself as a diplomat, but he's failed.
Lamont also expressed support and agreement for Chris Dodd's leadership regarding the Bolton nomination, further suggesting that Lieberman's endorsement had more to do with politics than principle.
Senator Dodd is right when he said on the Senate floor last month that John Bolton is "an ineffective bully," and "he can't win the day for the United States when it really counts."
Lieberman's flip flop on Bolton as well qualified and deserving of the position further shows that he'll do anything to get re-elected. We need real leadership, not someone who for 18 years sticks his finger in the political winds and goes only where the wind is blowing, even when it's against Connecticut 's interests. Lieberman previously opposed Bolton 's nomination, but has now embraced him because George Bush asked him and Alan Schlesinger challenged him.
If this is in fact a political move I'm not sure what, if anything, Senator Lieberman gains from it. I don't think the Bolton nomination is a priority for conservative voters in Connecticut, and going against Dodd won't win him any favors with Democrats.
Politics aside, confirming Bolton is just a lousy idea. He is the personification of America as an international bully. Joe Lieberman is always calling for civility and cooperation, two words that aren't in John Bolton's vocabulary.
Kennedy, Helen. "Lieberman likes Bolton for UN job". New York Daily News. 10/17/06
Lamont, Ned. "LAMONT STATEMENT ON LIEBERMAN FLIP FLOP ON JOHN BOLTON". 10/17/06