The last pre-election loophole through which John Bolton's confirmation might have snuck through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was at 2:15 this afternoon at a previously called "business meeting" of the Committee.
That meeting has been cancelled -- and with it even the dimmest chance of John Bolton being confirmed as US Ambassador to the United Nations.
Some have said that another effort could be mounted during a lame duck session of Congress, but there are several Republicans who will not feel bound by the White House in that circumstance; Dems as well -- who will vote against cloture on the floor of the Senate were it to get out of Committee then.
So, it's over. Wow.
John Bolton might agree to serve as the uncompensated Ambassador to the UN in a second recess appointment, or might agree to serve as a recess appointed political deputy at the UN and made "acting Ambassador and Chief of Mission" at a pay cut.
Either way, Ambassador Bolton will fill his term as the only unconfirmed Ambassador at the United Nations in American history.
For the record, I do believe that John Bolton has strengths as a public servant. Those who have opposed him should in fact know that he has done some good things for this country. I strongly disagree with his international views and his brand of diplomacy, but there are other jobs in the Bush administration that I would support John Bolton for.
It is time to say that. I hope that Ambassador Bolton, in the next few months, works at trying to leave a legacy that is constructive regarding America's engagement with the UN.
But this battle seems now to be definitively, completely at an end.
Wow. I'm amazed that those concerned about this appointment have really won -- twice.
-- Steve Clemons is Senior Fellow and Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note