Biden Frist Deal-non-Deal Over Bolton?

Doing the rounds I came upon this tantilizing piece by Steve Clemens of The Washington Note that is a must read. Here is a small snippit, click on the link below for the full story.

Biden Says If NO DEAL by Close of Business Today, Then “It’s Over”

Reuters reports a comment by Senator Biden that indicates the Senator’s assessment that the Bolton confirmation battle is quickly coming to a close.

Joanne Kenan writes:

“If they don’t have (the documents) by the end of the day, it’s finished,” the Delaware Democrat said of the bitter dispute over President Bush’s choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

TWN has done some digging into whether this was Biden drawing a firm line and what drove this comment yesterday evening.

Biden’s declaration that all document requests must be satisfied by close of business today — or all deals are off — is more the Senator’s “assessment that the window for confirming Bolton is closing fast,” according to an official familiar with Biden’s stance.

But TWN has learned that Biden’s comment fits in a context of interactions with Senator Frist these past several days about potential deals on the document requests.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist approached Biden on Tuesday asking that if Frist could, in fact, secure access for the Senators to the requested NSA documents and names of U.S. officials redacted from these documents, what mechanisms could Biden’s side propose that would be satisfactory to the Democrats given the sensitivity of the material.

There was no indication whether the White House was supporting Frist’s initiative or whether Frist was on his own — attempting to demonstrate to the administration and to Bolton supporters that he was doing all he could to try and secure an up-or-down vote on Bolton.

Nonetheless, Biden’s side took Frist’s proposal seriously.

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