Bush may renominate Bolton to UN post

President George W. Bush is considering renominating John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a year after appointing him to the job over Senate objections, aides said on Thursday.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said White House officials were talking to Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, about renominating Bolton for the position.

The job requires Senate confirmation.

Bush gave Bolton a recess appointment last August — meaning he appointed Bolton to the job when the Senate was in recess — because many senators opposed the former State Department official for what they called an abrasive style.

That appointment will run out at the end of the current congressional session in January.

Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who opposed Bolton’s nomination a year ago, said on Thursday he would now support him for the job.

“My observations are that while Bolton is not perfect, he has demonstrated his ability, especially in recent months, to work with others and follow the president’s lead by working multilaterally,” Voinovich said at a news conference.

“Should the president choose to renominate him, I cannot imagine a worse message to send to the terrorists — and to other nations deciding whether to engage in this effort — than to drag out a possible renomination process or even replace the person our president has entrusted to lead our nation at the United Nations,” Voinovich said.

Bolton went through a bruising confirmation process last year, and was blocked by accusations he tried to manipulate intelligence and intimidated intelligence analysts to support his hawkish views in his former post as top U.S. diplomat for arms control.

© Reuters 2006