Powell Involved in Bolton Debate

While Republicans continue to try and paint the Bolton non-confirmation as a Democratic vendetta, it is becoming clear that several high powered Republicans are playing a key role. According to Jim VandeHei and Robin Wright of the Washington Post, former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to both Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) about Bolton.

Powell did not advise the senators to oppose Bolton, but offered a frank assessment of the nominee as a man who was challenging to work with on personnel and policy matters, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

“General Powell has returned calls from senators who wanted to discuss specific questions that have been raised,” said Margaret Cifrino, a Powell spokeswoman. “He has not reached out to senators” and considers the discussions private. A Chafee spokesman confirmed that at least two conversations took place. Bolton served under Powell as his undersecretary of state for arms control, and the two were known to have serious clashes.

And forget about Powell for a minute and remember that none of this is required to shoot down the President’s assertions of Democratic funny business since it was Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) who blocked the vote on Bolton in the first place. Could it be that Bolton is simply too non-diplomatic to become an ambassador? Likely. At least it would appear that is how many Republicans feel.

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