Bob Gates passes Senate Committee

From WaPo:

The Senate Armed Services Committee today unanimously approved President Bush’s nomination of Robert M. Gates to be the next secretary of defense, replacing Donald H. Rumsfeld, the panel’s chairman announced.

The announcement by Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) came after Gates testified before the committee in an open confirmation hearing and a closed session, impressing senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties with what they described as his “candor.”

The nomination now goes to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, which could be held as soon as tomorrow.

Gates told the committee that “all options are on the table” in dealing with the situation in Iraq, and he said he does not believe that U.S. forces currently are winning the war there.

Appearing before the committee after a breakfast meeting with Bush, Gates said in his opening remarks that he is “open to a wide range of ideas and proposals” in Iraq, and he pledged to consult urgently with military leaders, combatant commanders in the field and members of Congress, among others, if confirmed.

He warned that the war in Iraq risks provoking a “regional conflagration” unless a new strategy can arrest the nation’s slide toward chaos. He called the status quo there unacceptable and said Iraq would be his “highest priority.”

Asked by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, whether “you believe we’re currently winning in Iraq,” Gates answered, “No, sir.” He repeated the assessment when asked the same question by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Continue reading

Bolton bows out, finally

From NYT:

President Bush reluctantly accepted the resignation of the United Nations ambassador, John R. Bolton, on Monday, conceding that the envoy could not win Senate confirmation and signaling that the administration was unwilling to make another end run around Congressional opponents in order to keep Mr. Bolton in his job.

Ending more than a year of controversy surrounding the blunt-spoken ambassador, Mr. Bush issued a strongly worded statement excoriating Mr. Bolton’s opponents on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for refusing to send his nomination to the Senate floor for a vote.

“They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time,” Mr. Bush said. “This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their nation.”

Mr. Bush went on to praise Mr. Bolton, a fiery conservative and longtime critic of the United Nations, thanking him for his “advocacy of human rights and human dignity.” more

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Did you see where John McCain blamed Democrats for John Bolton’s defeat?  What happened to John McCain?  Remember when he was a straight shooter?  Remember when he was a Maverick?  Do you remember when you used to respect McCain even when you didn’t agree with him?  That John McCain seems to be as gone as Bolton.

Addendum –

A little foolishness from CNN’s Moos on Bolton.